ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the fifteen ratings firms that are covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $41.84.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on CAG. BidaskClub lowered ConAgra Foods from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Credit Suisse Group set a $39.00 price target on ConAgra Foods and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 1st. UBS AG reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $33.00 price target (down previously from $35.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research note on Friday, June 30th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $42.00 price target (down previously from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target (down previously from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research note on Monday, June 26th.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE CAG) traded up 0.61% on Tuesday, reaching $34.38. The company had a trading volume of 585,260 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $14.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.55 and a beta of 0.32. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $35.37 and its 200-day moving average price is $38.52. ConAgra Foods has a 12 month low of $32.93 and a 12 month high of $48.86.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the 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 quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.52 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that ConAgra Foods will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

ConAgra Foods declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a $0.2125 dividend. This is a positive change from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.49%. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.82%.

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

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CAG. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 46,312,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,868,249,000 after buying an additional 1,175,244 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2,749.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,966,885 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,087,846,000 after buying an additional 26,020,645 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 3.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,445,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $302,009,000 after buying an additional 285,685 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 30.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 7,336,632 shares of the company’s stock valued at $295,959,000 after buying an additional 1,706,553 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 17.8% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 7,277,792 shares of the company’s stock valued at $260,254,000 after buying an additional 1,100,589 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 77.64% of the company’s stock.

About ConAgra Foods

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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