Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. They currently have $43.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Service Corporation International, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is North America’s leading provider of deathcare products and services. Through their businesses, they market the Dignity Memorial(R) brand which offers assurance of quality, value, caring service, and exceptional customer satisfaction. “
A number of other research firms also recently commented on SCI. Credit Suisse Group boosted their target price on Service Co. International from $40.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Oppenheimer reiterated a buy rating and issued a $42.00 target price on shares of Service Co. International in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on Service Co. International from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. Bank of America boosted their target price on Service Co. International from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Service Co. International from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, April 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $44.20.
Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 13th. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.05. Service Co. International had a return on equity of 23.68% and a net margin of 17.66%. The business had revenue of $812.73 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $823.66 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Service Co. International will post 1.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were given a $0.17 dividend. This is an increase from Service Co. International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. Service Co. International’s payout ratio is currently 43.87%.
Service Co. International announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, February 13th that permits the company to repurchase $298.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Tony Coelho sold 3,110 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.11, for a total value of $121,632.10. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 63,240 shares in the company, valued at $2,473,316.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 6.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in Service Co. International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $190,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new stake in Service Co. International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $243,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Service Co. International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $283,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Service Co. International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $293,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Service Co. International during the fourth quarter worth approximately $329,000. 86.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Service Co. International Company Profile
Service Corporation International provides deathcare products and services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through Funeral and Cemetery segments. Its funeral service and cemetery operations comprise funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and other businesses.
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