Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

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 brokerages have also weighed in on SCI. Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on shares of Service Corp. International in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. lifted their price target on shares of Service Corp. International from $29.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. started coverage on shares of Service Corp. International in a research report on Friday, September 30th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $32.00 price target on the stock.

Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) opened at 26.50 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $5.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.90 and a beta of 0.81. Service Corp. International has a 1-year low of $20.21 and a 1-year high of $29.68. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $26.46 and its 200-day moving average is $26.71.

Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $751.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $766.81 million. Service Corp. International had a net margin of 6.13% and a return on equity of 19.48%. Service Corp. International’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Service Corp. International will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Service Corp. International’s dividend payout ratio is 57.14%.

In other news, insider Michael R. Webb sold 93,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.03, for a total value of $2,428,599.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 514,203 shares in the company, valued at $13,384,704.09. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Thomas L. Ryan sold 157,660 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.99, for a total transaction of $4,255,243.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,232,769 shares in the company, valued at approximately $33,272,435.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Aviva PLC bought a new stake in shares of Service Corp. International during the second quarter valued at about $15,748,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Service Corp. International during the second quarter valued at about $14,666,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Service Corp. International by 3.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,487,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $364,712,000 after buying an additional 479,158 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Service Corp. International by 444.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 538,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,572,000 after buying an additional 439,896 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sarasin & Partners LLP increased its stake in shares of Service Corp. International by 15.3% in the third quarter. Sarasin & Partners LLP now owns 2,847,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,576,000 after buying an additional 378,243 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.22% of the company’s stock.

About Service Corp. International

Service Corporation International is a provider of deathcare products and services, with a network of funeral service locations and cemeteries. The Company’s segments are funeral and cemetery operations. The Company conducts both funeral and cemetery operations in the United States and Canada. It operates over 1,535 funeral service locations and over 470 cemeteries, which are diversified across over 45 states, over eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SCI

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