Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Chemed Corp. (NYSE:CHE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday morning. They currently have $213.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, Chemed has been trading above the broader industry. Chemed’s last reported second-quarter 2017 performance was quite promising with the bottom line significantly improving on a year-over-year basis. Moreover, encouraging revenue growth and the raised guidance for 2017 are indicative of brighter prospects. In fact, the guidance raise was backed by the company expectations of significant gains from its Roto-Rooter business. Notably, the improvement in average net Medicare reimbursement rate and increase in average daily census are also impressive. However, headwinds like reimbursement related issues, seasonality in business, a competitive landscape and dependence on government mandate pose challenges for Chemed.  Also, a tweaked guidance for Medicare Cap billing limitations raises concern.”

CHE has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Chemed Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $208.00 price objective on shares of Chemed Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. increased their price objective on shares of Chemed Corp. from $200.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Chemed Corp. from a b+ rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $214.00.

Chemed Corp. (CHE) opened at 191.67 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 47.55 and a beta of 1.14. Chemed Corp. has a 12 month low of $131.16 and a 12 month high of $216.01. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $197.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $193.57.

Chemed Corp. (NYSE:CHE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $2.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.89 by $0.26. The firm had revenue of $415.06 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $407.56 million. Chemed Corp. had a net margin of 4.16% and a return on equity of 26.18%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.80 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Chemed Corp. will post $8.20 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 14th will be given a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.58%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 10th. This is a positive change from Chemed Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. Chemed Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 28.07%.

In related news, insider Kevin J. Mcnamara sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $201.16, for a total transaction of $3,017,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 173,801 shares in the company, valued at $34,961,809.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director George J. Walsh III purchased 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $204.56 per share, for a total transaction of $204,560.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 7,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,617,660.48. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 5.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in Chemed Corp. by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 29,537 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,738,000 after buying an additional 744 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Chemed Corp. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 6,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,206,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Chemed Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,906,000. Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Chemed Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $269,000. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in Chemed Corp. by 2.8% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 1,810 shares of the company’s stock valued at $330,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.78% of the company’s stock.

About Chemed Corp.

Chemed Corporation purchases, operates and divests subsidiaries engaged in various business activities. The Company operates through two segments: the VITAS segment (VITAS) and the Roto-Rooter segment (Roto-Rooter). The Company’s VITAS provides hospice and palliative care services to its patients through a network of physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy and volunteers.

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