Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LW – Get Free Report) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,810,000 shares, a drop of 6.4% from the October 15th total of 4,070,000 shares. Currently, 2.7% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,120,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.8 days.
Insider Activity at Lamb Weston
In related news, Director William G. Jurgensen acquired 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $84.35 per share, with a total value of $253,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 162,835 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,735,132.25. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 1.66% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Institutional Inflows and Outflows
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. American National Bank acquired a new stake in Lamb Weston during the second quarter worth approximately $26,000. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Lamb Weston during the 2nd quarter worth about $29,000. Clear Street Markets LLC boosted its position in shares of Lamb Weston by 92.5% during the 1st quarter. Clear Street Markets LLC now owns 283 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. Missouri Trust & Investment Co bought a new position in shares of Lamb Weston during the 2nd quarter worth about $31,000. Finally, Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC bought a new position in shares of Lamb Weston during the 2nd quarter worth about $32,000. Institutional investors own 85.77% of the company’s stock.
Lamb Weston Price Performance
Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW – Get Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 5th. The specialty retailer reported $1.63 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by $0.55. Lamb Weston had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 77.14%. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.75 earnings per share. Lamb Weston’s revenue was up 48.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Lamb Weston will post 5.84 earnings per share for the current year.
Lamb Weston declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, October 11th that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the specialty retailer to reacquire up to 4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Lamb Weston Dividend Announcement
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.17%. Lamb Weston’s payout ratio is 16.18%.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
Several brokerages have recently commented on LW. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Lamb Weston from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. StockNews.com began coverage on Lamb Weston in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Jefferies Financial Group boosted their target price on Lamb Weston from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Lamb Weston in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group raised Lamb Weston from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $125.00 to $127.00 in a report on Monday, September 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Lamb Weston has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $125.29.
About Lamb Weston
Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc produces, distributes, and markets frozen potato products worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Global, Foodservice, Retail, and Other. It offers frozen potatoes, commercial ingredients, and appetizers under the Lamb Weston brand, as well as under various customer labels.
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