Activist Wants Bob Evans Farms Inc (BOBE) to Sell Packaged-Foods Business

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Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE) shares are trading up slightly this morning as Sandell Asset Management Corp., an activist investor in the company, with board seats, has urged them to sell off their packaged-foods business to Post Holdings Inc. Sandell believes that the company could get upwards of $950 million for the brand, which in itself is greater than the entire market cap of Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE). The company claims to have maintained an active conversation with the activist group.

”Our Board is focused on ways to improve performance and enhance shareholder value and will continue to review ways to accomplish these goals,” Bob Evans said.

The stock is up 2.83% or $1.12 following the news, hitting $40.72 per share. BOBE has declined 7.95% since April 30, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 7.75%.

From a total of 3 analysts covering Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ:BOBE) stock, 2 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 1 a “Hold”. This means that 67% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $51 while the lowest target price is $50. The mean of all analyst targets is $50.50 which is 24.02% above today’s ($40.72) stock price. Bob Evans Farms was the topic of 3 analyst reports since August 31, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Oppenheimer maintained shares on October 15 with a “Outperform” rating. KeyBanc Capital Markets upgraded BOBE stock in a recent report from August 31 to a “Sector Weight” rating.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.78 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.51, from 1.29 in 2015Q1. The ratio dropped, as 29 funds sold all their Bob Evans Farms Inc shares they owned while 61 reduced their positions. 22 funds bought stakes while 48 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 17.94 million shares which is 8.87% less than the previous share count of 19.69 million in 2015Q1.

Sandell Investment Services Llc holds 13.81% of its total portfolio in Bob Evans Farms Inc, equating to 248,902 shares. Sandell Asset Management Corp owns 1.89 million shares representing 10.21% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Managed Asset Portfolios Llc has 4.69% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 175,620 shares. The Colorado-based Independence Capital Asset Partners Llc has a total of 4.43% of their portfolio invested in the stock. 1492 Capital Management Llc, a Wisconsin-based fund reported 59,072 shares owned.

Since March 12, 2015, the stock had 0 buys, and 2 insider sales for a total of $143,755 in net activity. Taggart Scott C sold 1,000 shares worth $51,700. Ashworth Thomas Alan sold 1,805 shares worth $92,055. Hall Richard D sold 966 shares worth $45,251. Mcwilliams Larry S bought 2,145 shares worth $99,292.

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is a full-service restaurant company. The company has a market cap of $910.88 million. The Firm operates 567 Bob Evans Restaurants and licenses four Bob Evans Express locations in 19 states. It has 42.17 P/E ratio. The Firm also produces and distributes pork sausage products and a range of home-style refrigerated side dishes and frozen food items under the Bob Evans, Owens and Country Creek brand names.

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