Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Investors acquired 2,866 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,120% compared to the typical volume of 235 call options.

Shares of SAFM stock opened at $145.47 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 1.72 and a current ratio of 3.42. Sanderson Farms has a one year low of $93.98 and a one year high of $154.82. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $136.62 and its 200-day simple moving average is $135.25. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.17 and a beta of 0.78.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The company reported $1.83 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.06. Sanderson Farms had a negative net margin of 0.28% and a negative return on equity of 0.13%. The business had revenue of $845.23 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $846.70 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.84 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Sanderson Farms will post 6.22 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 30th were issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 29th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.88%. Sanderson Farms’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.38%.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on SAFM. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sanderson Farms from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $141.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 13th. Cleveland Research raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. TheStreet raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Friday, June 7th. Finally, Barclays set a $145.00 price target on shares of Sanderson Farms and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Sanderson Farms has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $126.00.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new position in Sanderson Farms in the second quarter worth about $36,474,000. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Sanderson Farms by 21.8% in the first quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 7,251 shares of the company’s stock worth $956,000 after acquiring an additional 1,296 shares during the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its holdings in Sanderson Farms by 1,054.6% in the first quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,628 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,000 after acquiring an additional 1,487 shares during the last quarter. Baltimore Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Sanderson Farms in the first quarter worth about $891,000. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC bought a new position in Sanderson Farms in the first quarter worth about $374,000. 95.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms, Inc, an integrated poultry processing company, produces, processes, markets, and distributes fresh, frozen, and prepared chicken products in the United States. The company sells ice-packed, chill-packed, bulk-packed, and frozen chicken primarily under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors, and casual dining operators in the southeastern, southwestern, northeastern, and western United States, as well as to customers who resell frozen chicken into export markets.

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