Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Sanderson Farms Call Options (SAFM)

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) saw some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders bought 1,245 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,268% compared to the typical daily volume of 91 call options.

A number of research firms have recently commented on SAFM. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 target price on the stock. Barclays reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $150.00 target price (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. They set a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $137.80.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) opened at $130.01 on Friday. Sanderson Farms has a 52-week low of $87.54 and a 52-week high of $176.43. The stock has a market cap of $2,970.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.57 and a beta of 0.47.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The company reported $3.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.50 by ($0.30). Sanderson Farms had a return on equity of 20.97% and a net margin of 8.34%. The company had revenue of $919.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $916.07 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $3.36 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Sanderson Farms will post 9.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 30th will be paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 29th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.98%. Sanderson Farms’s dividend payout ratio is currently 10.41%.

In other news, Director Jones Gail Pittman sold 260 shares of Sanderson Farms stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.92, for a total value of $36,639.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 5.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SAFM. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Sanderson Farms by 6.9% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 961 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in Sanderson Farms by 144.9% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,119 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 662 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc acquired a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the third quarter worth $207,000. Foster & Motley Inc. acquired a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the third quarter worth $213,000. Finally, Saturna Capital CORP acquired a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the third quarter worth $226,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.88% of the company’s stock.

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Sanderson Farms Company Profile

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.

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