Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hill-Rom (NYSE:HRC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday. They currently have $99.00 target price on the medical technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Hill-Rom has been witnessing an increase in revenues on strong international growth. The company is currently focused on gaining traction in the untapped international market on successful execution of its strategy, courtesy its efficient international team and organizational realignment. The company is focusing on product innovation through research and development. A slew of product launches in the fourth quarter is encouraging. Moreover, an improvement in adjusted and operating margin buoys optimism. Overall, Hill-Rom has outperformed the broader industry in the past three months. On the flip side, a decline in revenues at the Patient Support Systems segment is quite disappointing. Also, foreign exchange and a tough competitive landscape remain headwinds.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on HRC. KeyCorp reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $97.00 price target on shares of Hill-Rom in a research report on Thursday. Barclays reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Hill-Rom in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $105.00 price target (up from $90.00) on shares of Hill-Rom in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Hill-Rom from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Raymond James Financial raised shares of Hill-Rom from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $94.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Hill-Rom currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $95.38.

Shares of Hill-Rom (NYSE:HRC) traded up $1.50 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $89.30. 512,759 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 371,576. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,877.82, a PE ratio of 23.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a current ratio of 1.77, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55. Hill-Rom has a 1 year low of $57.18 and a 1 year high of $89.64.

Hill-Rom (NYSE:HRC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The medical technology company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $738.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $731.10 million. Hill-Rom had a net margin of 4.87% and a return on equity of 20.27%. Hill-Rom’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.18 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Hill-Rom will post 4.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.81%. Hill-Rom’s payout ratio is currently 36.18%.

In other news, SVP Paul Sherwood Johnson sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.99, for a total transaction of $82,990.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 1,066 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $88,467.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO John J. Greisch sold 125,241 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.59, for a total transaction of $10,343,654.19. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 280,851 shares in the company, valued at $23,195,484.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 226,241 shares of company stock worth $18,708,644. Corporate insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Hill-Rom by 3.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,226,138 shares of the medical technology company’s stock worth $416,053,000 after buying an additional 159,074 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Hill-Rom by 2.7% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,681,107 shares of the medical technology company’s stock worth $133,831,000 after buying an additional 43,645 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in shares of Hill-Rom by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,345,876 shares of the medical technology company’s stock worth $113,442,000 after buying an additional 24,463 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Hill-Rom by 4.3% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,288,471 shares of the medical technology company’s stock worth $95,348,000 after buying an additional 52,863 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Hill-Rom by 298.1% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,133,900 shares of the medical technology company’s stock worth $83,908,000 after buying an additional 849,050 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.92% of the company’s stock.

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About Hill-Rom

Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc is a global medical technology company. The Company operates through four segments: North America Patient Support Systems, International Patient Support Systems, Front Line Care and Surgical Solutions. The Company’s products and services include Patient Support Systems, Front Line Care and Surgical Solutions.

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