Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Conagra Brands Put Options (NYSE:CAG)

Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors purchased 12,968 put options on the company. This is an increase of 849% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,366 put options.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on CAG. Evercore ISI began coverage on Mondelez International in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on United Technologies from $155.00 to $164.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 20th. Bank of America set a $35.00 price objective on Conagra Brands and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 28th. ValuEngine upgraded William Lyon Homes from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. Finally, UBS Group set a $170.00 price target on United Rentals and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $35.23.

Shares of CAG traded down $0.21 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $28.90. 4,504,972 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,580,547. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $28.36. The firm has a market cap of $14.04 billion, a PE ratio of 14.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43. Conagra Brands has a 1-year low of $20.22 and a 1-year high of $38.43.

Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 27th. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $2.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. Conagra Brands had a net margin of 7.11% and a return on equity of 13.74%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 32.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. Sell-side analysts predict that Conagra Brands will post 2.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 29th. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 30th will be given a $0.2125 dividend. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 29th. Conagra Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.29%.

In related news, Director Craig P. Omtvedt bought 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 28th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $26.73 per share, for a total transaction of $668,250.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Ruth Ann Marshall sold 6,717 shares of Conagra Brands stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total value of $208,227.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 99,897 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,096,807. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 17,717 shares of company stock worth $517,077. Corporate insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Conagra Brands by 0.8% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 45,019,445 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,529,309,000 after purchasing an additional 362,347 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Conagra Brands by 20.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,165,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,197,414,000 after purchasing an additional 7,469,653 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in Conagra Brands by 27.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 14,183,529 shares of the company’s stock worth $393,451,000 after purchasing an additional 3,031,757 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Conagra Brands by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,347,879 shares of the company’s stock worth $178,311,000 after purchasing an additional 1,327,796 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in Conagra Brands by 36.8% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,848,679 shares of the company’s stock worth $146,052,000 after purchasing an additional 1,840,875 shares in the last quarter. 88.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Conagra Brands Company Profile

Conagra Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food company in North America. The company operates through Grocery & Snacks, Refrigerated & Frozen, International, and Foodservice segments. The Grocery & Snacks segment primarily offers shelf stable food products in various retail channels in the United States.

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