Zacks Investment Research cut shares of STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, STERIS has been trading above the broader industry. The company has gained investors’ confidence by posting better-than-expected results on both lines in first-quarter fiscal 2018. Also, organic growth performance was strong across all segments. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. Moreover, both gross and operating margin expanded year over year. Recently, the company made a couple of organizational changes, expected to serve its customers in a better way. Also, we expect that this move will enhance the company’s cost structure. On the flip side, the year-over-year decline in revenues in the last reported quarter was a disappointment. Moreover, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds may continue to remain a concern for the company.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upped their price target on shares of STERIS PLC from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub lowered shares of STERIS PLC from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Wellington Shields lowered shares of STERIS PLC from a gradually accumulate rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, KeyCorp upgraded shares of STERIS PLC from a sector weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $89.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. STERIS PLC presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $86.75.

STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE) opened at 84.91 on Tuesday. STERIS PLC has a 52-week low of $63.80 and a 52-week high of $87.49. The company’s 50-day moving average is $83.58 and its 200-day moving average is $76.13. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 60.74 and a beta of 1.33.

STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The medical equipment provider reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.05. STERIS PLC had a net margin of 4.63% and a return on equity of 11.39%. The firm had revenue of $608 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $597.66 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.79 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that STERIS PLC will post $4.06 EPS for the current year.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: This news story was first published by The Cerbat Gem and is the property of of The Cerbat Gem. If you are reading this news story on another website, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of United States & international trademark and copyright law. The legal version of this news story can be viewed at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/08/26/steris-plc-ste-stock-rating-lowered-by-zacks-investment-research.html.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be given a dividend of $0.31 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 25th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.46%. This is a positive change from STERIS PLC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. STERIS PLC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.00%.

In related news, insider Kathleen Bardwell sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total value of $316,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 20,975 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,657,025. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Walter M. Rosebrough, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.69, for a total transaction of $856,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 83,270 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,135,406.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 45,554 shares of company stock valued at $3,743,948 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 2.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. GWM Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of STERIS PLC by 59.8% in the second quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 6,741 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $553,000 after buying an additional 2,522 shares in the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of STERIS PLC during the second quarter worth about $1,089,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. raised its position in shares of STERIS PLC by 25.9% in the second quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 603,196 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $49,233,000 after buying an additional 124,155 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in shares of STERIS PLC by 1.5% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 25,416 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $2,071,000 after buying an additional 379 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Castleark Management LLC bought a new position in shares of STERIS PLC during the second quarter worth about $4,574,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.40% of the company’s stock.

STERIS PLC Company Profile

STERIS plc provides infection prevention and other procedural products and services. The Company operates through four segments: Healthcare Products, which offers infection prevention and procedural solutions for healthcare providers, including capital equipment and related maintenance, and installation services, as well as consumables; Healthcare Specialty Services, which provides a range of specialty services for healthcare providers, including hospital sterilization services, instrument and scope repairs, and linen management; Life Sciences, which offers capital equipment and consumable products, and equipment maintenance and specialty services for pharmaceutical manufacturers and research facilities, and Applied Sterilization Technologies, which offers contract sterilization and laboratory services for medical device and pharmaceutical customers and others.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on STERIS PLC (STE)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE)

Receive News & Stock Ratings for STERIS PLC Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for STERIS PLC and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.