ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the fifteen brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $41.84.

CAG has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised ConAgra Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday, June 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on ConAgra Foods from $45.00 to $44.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $42.00 target price (down from $43.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th.

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ConAgra Foods (NYSE CAG) traded up 2.46% on Friday, reaching $33.69. The company had a trading volume of 5,032,922 shares. ConAgra Foods has a 12 month low of $32.16 and a 12 month high of $48.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.08 and a beta of 0.33. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $33.94 and a 200-day moving average of $37.58.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 31st. Investors of record on Monday, July 31st were paid a $0.2125 dividend. This represents a $0.85 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.52%. This is an increase from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 27th. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.82%.

ConAgra Foods declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 5,848 shares of ConAgra Foods 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, 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 completion of the transaction, 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. 0.79% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sfmg LLC grew its stake in ConAgra Foods by 0.4% in the first quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 12,754 shares of the company’s stock worth $514,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in ConAgra Foods by 12.3% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,266,630 shares of the company’s stock worth $171,882,000 after purchasing an additional 467,789 shares in the last quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC grew its stake in ConAgra Foods by 7.5% in the second quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC now owns 100,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,593,000 after purchasing an additional 7,000 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia grew its stake in ConAgra Foods by 259.4% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 101,920 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,112,000 after purchasing an additional 73,561 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schnieders Capital Management LLC grew its stake in ConAgra Foods by 2.0% in the first quarter. Schnieders Capital Management LLC now owns 11,275 shares of the company’s stock worth $455,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.42% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG)

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