Service Corporation International (SCI) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $39.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Service Corp. is the largest provider of funeral and cemetery services in the world. The funeral and cemetery operations consist of the Company’s funeral service locations, cemeteries and related businesses. The financial services operations represent a combination of the Company’s insurance operations primarily related to the funding of prearranged funeral contracts and a lending subsidiary, which previously provided capital financing for independent funeral home and cemetery operations. “

Several other research firms have also issued reports on SCI. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an outperform rating and set a $37.00 target price (up from $34.00) on shares of Service Corporation International in a report on Friday, July 21st. BidaskClub upgraded Service Corporation International from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Service Corporation International presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $37.00.

Service Corporation International (SCI) opened at 35.34 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $6.62 billion, a PE ratio of 19.15 and a beta of 0.93. Service Corporation International has a one year low of $24.90 and a one year high of $35.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $35.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $32.66.

Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $773.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $769.57 million. Service Corporation International had a return on equity of 24.67% and a net margin of 11.59%. Service Corporation International’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.28 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Service Corporation International will post $1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.70%. Service Corporation International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.43%.

In other Service Corporation International news, CEO Thomas L. Ryan sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.92, for a total value of $3,492,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,175,109 shares in the company, valued at $41,034,806.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Tammy R. Moore sold 41,400 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.85, for a total value of $1,442,790.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 59,220 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,063,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 530,500 shares of company stock valued at $18,479,593. 6.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SCI. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in Service Corporation International by 315.7% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 3,687 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in Service Corporation International by 2.1% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,232 shares of the company’s stock valued at $142,000 after purchasing an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. Founders Capital Management bought a new position in Service Corporation International in the first quarter valued at about $185,000. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC raised its position in Service Corporation International by 11.1% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 6,064 shares of the company’s stock valued at $187,000 after purchasing an additional 608 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new position in Service Corporation International in the first quarter valued at about $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.83% of the company’s stock.

Service Corporation International Company Profile

Service Corporation International is a provider of deathcare products and services, with a network of funeral service locations and cemeteries. The Company’s segments include Funeral, Cemetery and Corporate. It conducts both funeral and cemetery operations in the United States and Canada. As December 31, 2016, it operated 1,502 funeral service locations and 470 cemeteries, including 281 funeral service/cemetery combination locations, which are geographically diversified across 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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