Morgan Stanley Begins Coverage on Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM)

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) in a research report released on Friday, November 3rd, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage issued an equal weight rating and a $140.00 price objective on the stock.

SAFM has been the subject of several other reports. BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Mizuho set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Sanderson Farms and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Sanderson Farms from a neutral rating to an underweight rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $129.00 to $134.00 in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $164.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $132.00.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) traded down $3.62 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $161.81. 419,781 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 443,428. Sanderson Farms has a 1 year low of $79.50 and a 1 year high of $167.32. The firm has a market cap of $3,735.32, a PE ratio of 13.23 and a beta of 0.56.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 24th. The company reported $5.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.47 by $1.62. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 22.21%. The firm had revenue of $931.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $921.40 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.42 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Sanderson Farms will post 12.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Fred L. Banks, Jr. sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.11, for a total transaction of $432,330.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 24,948 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,595,256.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert C. Khayat sold 1,775 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.31, for a total transaction of $252,600.25. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,043 shares in the company, valued at $1,713,839.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,400 shares of company stock worth $771,199 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 5.66% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAFM. Amalgamated Bank raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.4% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 2,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $318,000 after acquiring an additional 39 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 6.9% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 961 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 62 shares during the period. Biltmore Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.4% in the second quarter. Biltmore Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,986 shares of the company’s stock worth $692,000 after acquiring an additional 85 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.0% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 10,484 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,212,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Ronald Blue & Co. LLC raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 5.3% in the second quarter. Ronald Blue & Co. LLC now owns 2,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $275,000 after acquiring an additional 120 shares during the period. 99.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms, Inc is a poultry processing company. The Company is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken, and also preparation, processing, marketing and distribution of processed and minimally prepared chicken. It sells ice pack, chill pack, bulk pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors, casual dining operators, customers reselling frozen chicken into export markets.

Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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