NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- ConAgra Foods (CAG - Get Report) received a rating upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch on Friday morning.

The firm maintained its $46 price target on the stock.

The upgrade comes as Bank of America/Merrill Lynch believes ConAgra Foods has a number of ways to potentially create shareholder value.

The company has taken steps towards this initiative including selling its private brands business, The Fly reports. ConAgra Foods is also planning to spin-off its Lamb Weston business and is expecting further initiatives in the future.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch also believes the company's actions will support multiple expansion, The Fly added.

ConAgra Foods is a packaged food company offering branded and private branded food to households, as well as commercial foods, which serves various restaurants and foodservice operations.

Shares of ConAgra Foods closed up by 0.05% to $40.26 on Thursday afternoon.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings has set a "hold" rating and a score of C+ on ConAgra Foods stock. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, TheStreet Ratings also finds weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CAG

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