Sanderson Farms Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NASDAQ:SAFM)

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders purchased 823 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 740% compared to the typical daily volume of 98 call options.

Shares of SAFM opened at $114.60 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $2.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -955.00 and a beta of 0.65. Sanderson Farms has a 1-year low of $102.13 and a 1-year high of $179.45. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $129.27 and its 200 day simple moving average is $138.71. The company has a current ratio of 3.04, a quick ratio of 1.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 28th. The company reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.80) by $1.08. Sanderson Farms had a negative net margin of 0.06% and a negative return on equity of 2.65%. The firm had revenue of $844.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $854.43 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.83 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Sanderson Farms will post -3.01 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $151.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, May 11th. Stephens boosted their target price on shares of Sanderson Farms from $110.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, May 11th. Barclays upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $160.00 to $168.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 31st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on shares of Sanderson Farms from $160.00 to $135.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $146.63.

In other news, Director Phil K. Livingston sold 700 shares of Sanderson Farms stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.99, for a total value of $88,193.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 8,771 shares in the company, valued at $1,105,058.29. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John Bierbusse sold 1,500 shares of Sanderson Farms stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $132.30, for a total transaction of $198,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,801 shares in the company, valued at $1,561,272.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAFM. Nuance Investments LLC boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 120.8% during the first quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 944,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,450,000 after purchasing an additional 516,627 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 87.5% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 650,692 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,243,000 after purchasing an additional 303,569 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth $43,042,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 39.8% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 799,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $98,600,000 after purchasing an additional 227,637 shares during the period. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 671.4% during the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 215,458 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,570,000 after purchasing an additional 187,526 shares during the period. 87.43% of the stock is 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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