Pinnacle Foods (PF) Stock Gains After Jana Partners Takes Stake in ConAgra

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Pinnacle Foods (PF) were gaining 6.3% to $45.83 on heavy trading volume on Friday after activist investor Jana Partners disclosed its stake in competitor food company ConAgra Foods (CAG).

Jana Partners announced on Thursday that it now holds about a 7.2% stake in ConAgra. The activist investor said ConAgra's acquisition of Ralcorp in 2013 "has been followed by disappointing performance for stockholders, repeated guidance misses, negative revisions to long-term earnings targets, no dividend per share growth, and operating performance challenges."

The hedge fund said it wants ConAgra to review its strategy and corporate structures, examine its operational performance and costs, and better manage how it allocates capital, according to Bloomberg.

Shares of ConAgra were gaining 8.8% to $42.57.

Jana Partners interest in ConAgra and the subsequent gains in the company's stock helped bring up shares of other food companies such as Pinnacle Foods.

About 2.4 million shares of Pinnacle Foods were traded by 11:38 a.m. today, above the company's average trading volume of about 747,000 shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PINNACLE FOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PINNACLE FOODS INC (PF) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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