Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Stage Stores Inc. (NYSE:SSI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Stage Stores operates retail stores offering moderately priced, nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family in small towns and communities located primarily throughout the south central United States. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on SSI. Johnson Rice downgraded Stage Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 17th. B. Riley reiterated a neutral rating and set a $3.50 price objective on shares of Stage Stores in a report on Wednesday. Telsey Advisory Group raised their price target on Stage Stores from $5.25 to $6.50 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Northcoast Research downgraded Stage Stores from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $3.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, November 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the company. Stage Stores currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $4.33.

Shares of Stage Stores (NYSE:SSI) opened at 4.48 on Wednesday. The company’s market capitalization is $121.66 million. Stage Stores has a 52-week low of $4.30 and a 52-week high of $9.98. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $5.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $5.43.

Stage Stores (NYSE:SSI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The company reported ($0.57) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.36) by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $317.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $327.74 million. Stage Stores had a negative return on equity of 0.71% and a negative net margin of 0.68%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.29) earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Stage Stores will post $0.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 29th will be given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 25th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 13.39%. Stage Stores’s payout ratio is -136.36%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SSI. Credit Suisse AG boosted its stake in Stage Stores by 179.3% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 84,343 shares of the company’s stock worth $473,000 after buying an additional 54,147 shares during the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. purchased a new stake in Stage Stores during the third quarter valued at $521,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Stage Stores by 3,908.6% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 18,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 17,628 shares during the last quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Stage Stores by 18.7% in the third quarter. Spark Investment Management LLC now owns 355,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,992,000 after buying an additional 55,840 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in Stage Stores by 24.6% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 485,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,721,000 after buying an additional 95,685 shares during the last quarter. 90.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Stage Stores Company Profile

Stage Stores, Inc operates specialty department stores mainly in small and mid-sized towns and communities. The Company’s department stores offer a range of brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. The Company operates approximately 830 specialty department stores in over 40 states under the BEALLS, GOODY’S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES and STAGE nameplates and a direct-to-consumer business.

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