Investors Buy Shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $42.35 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $16.90 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $25.45 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, ConAgra Foods had the 21st highest net in-flow for the day. ConAgra Foods traded down ($0.41) for the day and closed at $33.83

A number of equities research analysts have commented on CAG shares. BidaskClub cut shares of ConAgra Foods from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of ConAgra Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 22nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $42.00 price target (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 price target (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $42.00 price target (down from $43.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Monday, June 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. ConAgra Foods has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $42.72.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $34.16 and its 200-day moving average price is $38.12. The stock has a market cap of $14.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.60 and a beta of 0.32.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37. The business had revenue of $1.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.86 billion. ConAgra Foods had a net margin of 7.43% and a return on equity of 20.29%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.52 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that ConAgra Foods Inc. will post $1.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.2125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.47%. This is a boost from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio is currently 57.82%.

ConAgra Foods declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other ConAgra Foods news, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 5,848 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.80, for a total transaction of $209,358.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Ruth Ann Marshall sold 6,046 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.22, for a total transaction of $200,848.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 89,260 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,965,217.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CAG. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 46,312,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,868,249,000 after buying an additional 1,175,244 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2,749.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,966,885 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,087,846,000 after buying an additional 26,020,645 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 3.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,445,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $302,009,000 after buying an additional 285,685 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 30.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 7,336,632 shares of the company’s stock valued at $295,959,000 after buying an additional 1,706,553 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 17.8% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 7,277,792 shares of the company’s stock valued at $260,254,000 after buying an additional 1,100,589 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.33% of the company’s stock.

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About ConAgra Foods

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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