Hormel Foods (HRL) Rating Lowered to Sell at Vertical Group

Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) was downgraded by research analysts at Vertical Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, The Fly reports. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $50.00 target price on Hormel Foods and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Hormel Foods in a report on Friday, September 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $41.00 target price on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lowered Hormel Foods from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $44.00 in a report on Monday, September 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised Hormel Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 6th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Hormel Foods in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.67.

Shares of HRL traded up $0.05 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $44.19. 5,720 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,391,613. The firm has a market cap of $23.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.14. Hormel Foods has a fifty-two week low of $31.55 and a fifty-two week high of $44.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 1.69.

Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 23rd. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.39. The company had revenue of $2.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.38 billion. Hormel Foods had a return on equity of 17.44% and a net margin of 10.18%. Hormel Foods’s quarterly revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.34 EPS. On average, research analysts predict that Hormel Foods will post 1.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Kevin L. Myers sold 2,734 shares of Hormel Foods stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.90, for a total transaction of $109,086.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,556 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $341,384.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Dakota A. Pippins sold 1,750 shares of Hormel Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.59, for a total value of $69,282.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 91,797 shares in the company, valued at $3,634,243.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 138,632 shares of company stock worth $5,556,981 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.54% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Hormel Foods during the second quarter worth about $118,000. Fort L.P. bought a new position in shares of Hormel Foods during the second quarter worth about $125,000. IMS Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Hormel Foods during the second quarter worth about $130,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division bought a new position in shares of Hormel Foods during the third quarter worth about $142,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new position in shares of Hormel Foods during the second quarter worth about $135,000. Institutional investors own 41.95% of the company’s stock.

About Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation produces and markets various meat and food products in the United States and internationally. The company operates through five segments: Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Specialty Foods, and International & Other. It offers various perishable meat products, including fresh meats, frozen items, refrigerated meal solutions, sausages, hams, guacamole, and bacon; and shelf-stable products, such as canned luncheon meats, peanut butter, chilies, shelf-stable microwaveable meals, hash, stews, meat spreads, flour and corn tortillas, salsas, tortilla chips, and other products.

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