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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $39.00 target price 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 equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Service Corporation International from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $37.00 target price (up from $34.00) on shares of Service Corporation International in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $37.00.

Shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE SCI) traded up 0.66% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $34.98. 837,479 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $35.12 and a 200 day moving average of $32.83. The stock has a market cap of $6.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.96 and a beta of 0.93. Service Corporation International has a 12 month low of $24.90 and a 12 month high of $35.89.

Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.05. Service Corporation International had a net margin of 11.59% and a return on equity of 24.67%. The firm had revenue of $773.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $769.57 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Service Corporation International will post $1.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Service Corporation International’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.43%.

In other Service Corporation International news, insider Michael R. Webb sold 202,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.70, for a total transaction of $7,009,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 622,903 shares in the company, valued at $21,614,734.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Gregory T. Sangalis sold 72,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.40, for a total transaction of $2,559,420.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 129,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,597,858.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 604,800 shares of company stock valued at $21,109,153 over the last 90 days. 6.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in Service Corporation International by 2.1% during the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,232 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 89 shares during the period. Anchor Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in Service Corporation International by 1.6% during the first quarter. Anchor Capital Advisors LLC now owns 10,839 shares of the company’s stock worth $335,000 after acquiring an additional 170 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its position in Service Corporation International by 4.5% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 8,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $267,000 after acquiring an additional 375 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc raised its position in Service Corporation International by 1.8% during the first quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 24,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $744,000 after acquiring an additional 426 shares during the period. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Service Corporation International by 2.8% during the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 19,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $606,000 after acquiring an additional 529 shares during the period. 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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