Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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

Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) opened at 26.28 on Wednesday. Service Corp. International has a 52-week low of $20.21 and a 52-week high of $28.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.38 and a beta of 0.83. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $26.02 and its 200 day moving average price is $26.76.

Service Corp. International (NYSE:SCI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.26 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.26. Service Corp. International had a return on equity of 20.38% and a net margin of 6.12%. The business earned $721.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $740.69 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.23 earnings per share. Service Corp. International’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Service Corp. International will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 15th will be given a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.98%. Service Corp. International’s payout ratio is 56.52%.

In other Service Corp. International news, insider Michael R. Webb sold 93,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.03, for a total value of $2,428,599.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 514,203 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,384,704.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director W Blair Waltrip sold 4,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.28, for a total value of $121,344.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 701,409 shares in the company, valued at $17,731,619.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 6.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in shares of Service Corp. International by 9.5% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 304,057 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,221,000 after buying an additional 26,503 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Service Corp. International by 1.9% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 389,725 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,538,000 after buying an additional 7,200 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in shares of Service Corp. International by 12.2% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 62,349 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,686,000 after buying an additional 6,778 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Service Corp. International during the second quarter valued at $2,144,000. Finally, Rothschild Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Service Corp. International by 11.9% in the second quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 411,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,124,000 after buying an additional 43,909 shares during the last quarter. 84.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Service Corp. 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 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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