Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $40.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 10.50% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Conagra’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2018 results. The upside was backed by higher sales of the company’s renowned branded products. Conagra believes that sturdier revenues will continue to drive its bottom-line growth in the quarters ahead. Moreover, we perceive that strategic business divestitures and meaningful acquisitions will strengthen the Conagra’s competency going forward. The company also remains committed toward its shareholders. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has moved north for both fiscal 2018 and 2019.”
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on CAG. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Conagra Brands from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Conagra Brands from $38.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. UBS Group upgraded Conagra Brands from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the company from $33.00 to $37.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $40.00 target price on Conagra Brands and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, December 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $40.50.
Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 21st. The company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $2.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion. Conagra Brands had a return on equity of 19.58% and a net margin of 9.04%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.49 EPS. equities analysts expect that Conagra Brands will post 1.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, EVP Colleen Batcheler sold 120,451 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.50, for a total value of $4,516,912.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 211,514 shares in the company, valued at $7,931,775. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Robert G. Wise sold 23,170 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.87, for a total value of $877,447.90. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 51,859 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,963,900.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 154,121 shares of company stock valued at $5,793,780. 0.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CAG. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Conagra Brands by 120.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 19,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $701,000 after purchasing an additional 10,700 shares during the period. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Conagra Brands by 6.5% in the third quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 52,804 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,782,000 after purchasing an additional 3,216 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new stake in Conagra Brands in the third quarter worth $1,253,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Conagra Brands by 9.9% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 22,881 shares of the company’s stock worth $772,000 after purchasing an additional 2,054 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in Conagra Brands by 39.3% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,701,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $57,409,000 after purchasing an additional 479,600 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.33% of the company’s stock.
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About Conagra Brands
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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