Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MAXIMUS (NYSE:MMS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “MAXIMUS, Inc. is an extremely dynamic and complex organization that offers government and industry a range of unique services, products, and solutions. The diverse services and products that MAXIMUS offers may be categorized into three groups: Government Program Management and Operations, Consulting, and Systems. Government Program Management and Operations focuses on having a measurable impact on the lives of the citizens we help government serve. The insights of MAXIMUS Consulting, and the technological innovations advanced through Systems, help government gain program efficiencies and pursue improvements that in turn benefit citizens. “

Separately, Canaccord Genuity cut their target price on MAXIMUS from $62.00 to $61.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. MAXIMUS presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $65.60.

MAXIMUS (NYSE MMS) traded up $0.51 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $70.09. The company had a trading volume of 614,838 shares, compared to its average volume of 316,889. MAXIMUS has a 12-month low of $51.74 and a 12-month high of $72.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,532.20, a PE ratio of 22.04, a P/E/G ratio of 2.61 and a beta of 1.34.

MAXIMUS (NYSE:MMS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The health services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.04. MAXIMUS had a return on equity of 23.97% and a net margin of 8.54%. equities analysts forecast that MAXIMUS will post 3.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.045 per share. This represents a $0.18 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. MAXIMUS’s dividend payout ratio is presently 5.66%.

In other MAXIMUS news, CEO Richard A. Montoni sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.25, for a total transaction of $2,077,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Russell A. Beliveau sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.73, for a total value of $71,730.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 71,417 shares of company stock valued at $4,902,785 in the last 90 days. 3.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MMS. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in shares of MAXIMUS by 10.2% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,367 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $148,000 after purchasing an additional 220 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings in shares of MAXIMUS by 459.2% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 25,842 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,619,000 after purchasing an additional 21,221 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of MAXIMUS by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 16,932 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,060,000 after purchasing an additional 80 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of MAXIMUS by 30.8% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 146,431 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $9,171,000 after purchasing an additional 34,470 shares during the period. Finally, Martingale Asset Management L P purchased a new position in shares of MAXIMUS in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,191,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.79% of the company’s stock.

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MAXIMUS Company Profile

MAXIMUS, Inc provides business process services (BPS) to government health and human services agencies. The Company operates through three segments: U.S. Federal Services, Health Services and Human Services. The U.S. Federal Services segment provides BPS and program management for large government programs, independent health review and appeals services for both the United States Federal Government, and state-based programs and technology solutions for civilian federal programs.

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