Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Saturday.

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 analysts also recently commented on SCI. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a buy rating and issued a $39.00 target price on shares of Service Corporation International in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. BidaskClub upgraded Service Corporation International from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 31st.

Shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) opened at 34.47 on Friday. Service Corporation International has a 52-week low of $24.90 and a 52-week high of $35.89. The company has a 50-day moving average of $35.04 and a 200 day moving average of $33.07. The company has a market capitalization of $6.45 billion, a PE ratio of 18.68 and a beta of 0.92.

Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $773.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $769.57 million. Service Corporation International had a net margin of 11.59% and a return on equity of 24.67%. Service Corporation International’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.28 EPS. Analysts predict that Service Corporation International will post $1.46 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. Service Corporation International’s payout ratio is presently 32.43%.

In related news, CEO Thomas L. Ryan sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.92, for a total transaction of $3,492,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,175,109 shares in the company, valued at $41,034,806.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Eric D. Tanzberger sold 187,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.93, for a total transaction of $6,535,403.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 150,217 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,247,079.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 604,800 shares of company stock worth $21,109,153. 6.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Service Corporation International by 13,931.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,407,111 shares of the company’s stock worth $506,652,000 after buying an additional 16,290,180 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Service Corporation International by 4.1% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,875,922 shares of the company’s stock valued at $459,368,000 after acquiring an additional 583,346 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Service Corporation International by 0.4% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,961,421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,957,000 after acquiring an additional 20,669 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Service Corporation International by 0.6% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 3,384,622 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,517,000 after acquiring an additional 19,578 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Service Corporation International by 385.2% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,869,347 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,606,000 after acquiring an additional 2,277,979 shares during the last quarter. 84.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Service Corporation 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 include Funeral, Cemetery and Corporate. It conducts both funeral and cemetery operations in the United States and Canada. As December 31, 2016, it operated 1,502 funeral service locations and 470 cemeteries, including 281 funeral service/cemetery combination locations, which are geographically diversified across 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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