STERIS (NYSE:STE) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

STERIS (NYSE:STE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, April 12th. They currently have a $106.00 price objective on the medical equipment provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 10.07% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, STERIS has been outperforming its broader industry. We are encouraged by the company's favorable underlying market trends along with new product and service offerings. STERIS' strong organic growth across specialty services, life sciences and applied sterilization segments also buoys optimism. Recently, the company made a couple of organizational changes to serve customers in a better way. We also expect this move to enhance the company’s cost structure. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. On the flip side, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds continue to pose concerns. Moreover, STERIS' customers undergoing consolidation pose threats for the company.”

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Several other equities analysts have also commented on STE. Raymond James restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $100.00 price objective on shares of STERIS in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Northcoast Research set a $102.00 target price on shares of STERIS and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $103.00 price objective on shares of STERIS in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $85.40.

Shares of STE traded up $0.08 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $96.30. The company had a trading volume of 61,249 shares, compared to its average volume of 356,972. The company has a quick ratio of 2.22, a current ratio of 2.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. STERIS has a 52 week low of $70.29 and a 52 week high of $97.47. The stock has a market cap of $8,218.38, a P/E ratio of 25.55 and a beta of 1.12.

STERIS (NYSE:STE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The medical equipment provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $661.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $663.17 million. STERIS had a return on equity of 11.57% and a net margin of 9.42%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that STERIS will post 4.13 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Walter M. Rosebrough, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.50, for a total value of $955,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Sudhir K. Pahwa sold 1,981 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.11, for a total transaction of $192,374.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 80,396 shares of company stock worth $7,370,911 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.55% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in shares of STERIS by 8.6% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 94,512 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $8,354,000 after buying an additional 7,469 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of STERIS by 7.8% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 621,958 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $54,976,000 after acquiring an additional 45,038 shares during the last quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP acquired a new position in shares of STERIS during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $388,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of STERIS during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $952,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of STERIS by 7.1% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 211,344 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $18,683,000 after acquiring an additional 14,062 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 89.37% of the company’s stock.

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STERIS Company Profile

STERIS plc develops, manufactures, and markets infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical and gastrointestinal support products and services for healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial, and governmental customers worldwide. The company's Healthcare Products segment offers steam, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide sterilizers, as well as liquid chemical sterilant processing systems; automated washer/disinfector systems; general and specialty surgical tables, surgical and examination lights, equipment management systems, operating room storage cabinets, warming cabinets, scrub sinks, and other accessories; and gastrointestinal devices and accessories.

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