Investors Buy ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) on Weakness

Traders purchased shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) on weakness during trading on Tuesday. $42.35 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $16.90 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $25.45 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, ConAgra Foods had the 21st highest net in-flow for the day. ConAgra Foods traded down ($0.41) for the day and closed at $33.83

Several research analysts have recently commented on CAG shares. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 target price (down previously from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and set a $42.00 price objective (down previously from $43.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered ConAgra Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered ConAgra Foods from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. ConAgra Foods currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $42.72.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $34.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $38.27. The company has a market cap of $14.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.84 and a beta of 0.32.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37. ConAgra Foods had a return on equity of 20.29% and a net margin of 7.43%. The business had revenue of $1.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.52 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that ConAgra Foods Inc. will post $1.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be given a $0.2125 dividend. This is a positive change from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 27th. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.82%.

ConAgra Foods announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other ConAgra Foods news, Director Ruth Ann Marshall sold 6,046 shares of ConAgra Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.22, for a total value of $200,848.12. Following the sale, the director now owns 89,260 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,965,217.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 5,848 shares of ConAgra Foods stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.80, for a total value of $209,358.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Private Bank & Trust Co. increased its stake in ConAgra Foods by 0.5% in the first quarter. Private Bank & Trust Co. now owns 6,027 shares of the company’s stock valued at $243,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC increased its stake in ConAgra Foods by 0.4% in the second quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 9,828 shares of the company’s stock valued at $352,000 after buying an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. increased its stake in ConAgra Foods by 0.3% in the first quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 11,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $476,000 after buying an additional 41 shares in the last quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division increased its stake in ConAgra Foods by 0.8% in the first quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 6,559 shares of the company’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sfmg LLC boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 0.4% in the first quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 12,754 shares of the company’s stock valued at $514,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. 77.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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ConAgra Foods Company Profile

Conagra Brands, Inc, formerly ConAgra Foods, Inc, operates as a packaged food company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods. The Company sells branded and customized food products, as well as commercially branded foods. It also supplies vegetable, spice and grain products to a range of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.

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