Hormel (HRL) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Hormel (NYSE:HRL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Hormel Foods’ shares have outperformed the industry. The company perceives that elevated demand for on-trend branded products will bolster its revenues in the upcoming quarters. Hormel Foods also believes that the new tax reform will boost its near-term liquidity, enabling it to fund new investments, raise employee wages and boost shareholders’ return going forward. However, over the last three months, the stock looks overvalued compared to the industry. The company noted that lower turkey prices will continue to hurt its Jennie-O Turkey Store business in the quarters ahead. Moreover, headwinds like unfavorable foreign currency-translation impact might dent results in the upcoming quarters. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained unchanged for fiscals 2018 and 2019.”

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A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on HRL. Piper Jaffray started coverage on Hormel in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $42.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group upgraded Hormel from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $38.00 price target (down from $40.00) on shares of Hormel in a research note on Friday, February 23rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hormel in a research note on Sunday, February 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Hormel has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $34.60.

Shares of HRL opened at $35.54 on Tuesday. Hormel has a 52 week low of $29.75 and a 52 week high of $38.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $18,757.90, a PE ratio of 22.64, a PEG ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a current ratio of 1.47 and a quick ratio of 0.74.

Hormel (NYSE:HRL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44. Hormel had a return on equity of 17.44% and a net margin of 9.92%. The company had revenue of $2.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.43 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. Hormel’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Hormel will post 1.73 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Steven G. Binder sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.40, for a total transaction of $668,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,964 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,067,597.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Glenn S. Forbes sold 4,492 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.71, for a total value of $151,425.32. Following the sale, the director now owns 50,326 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,696,489.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 281,976 shares of company stock valued at $9,718,072. 3.54% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC grew its holdings in Hormel by 3,200.0% during the 4th quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 3,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 3,200 shares during the period. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. acquired a new stake in Hormel during the 4th quarter worth about $205,000. Two Sigma Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Hormel during the 4th quarter worth about $206,000. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Hormel during the 4th quarter worth about $218,000. Finally, Resources Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Hormel during the 4th quarter worth about $218,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 39.40% of the company’s stock.

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About Hormel

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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