Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG) Upgraded at Stifel Nicolaus

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE:CAG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Sunday morning, Marketbeat reports. The brokerage currently has $38.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $36.00. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on CAG. BidaskClub cut Conagra Brands from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Conagra Brands from $42.00 to $40.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on Conagra Brands from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Conagra Brands in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Conagra Brands from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Conagra Brands currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.03.

Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) opened at 34.16 on Friday. Conagra Brands has a 12 month low of $32.16 and a 12 month high of $41.68. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $33.96 and a 200 day moving average of $35.70. The company has a market capitalization of $13.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.56 and a beta of 0.31.

Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 28th. The company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $1.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.79 billion. Conagra Brands had a net margin of 7.83% and a return on equity of 18.35%. The company’s revenue was down 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Conagra Brands will post $1.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 30th. Investors of record on Friday, October 13th will be given a $0.2125 dividend. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 30th. Conagra Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 60.28%.

In related news, EVP Colleen Batcheler sold 133,869 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.28, for a total value of $4,589,029.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Conagra Brands during the first quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Sun Life Financial INC grew its position in Conagra Brands by 32,666.7% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 2,940 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its position in Conagra Brands by 143.7% during the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,139 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 1,851 shares during the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC grew its position in Conagra Brands by 5.8% during the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 3,578 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after acquiring an additional 196 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. grew its position in Conagra Brands by 53.3% during the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 3,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 1,333 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.64% of the company’s stock.

Conagra Brands 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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