STERIS (STE) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of STERIS (NYSE:STE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday, March 19th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $107.00 price target on the medical equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, STERIS has been outperforming its broader industry. We are encouraged by the company's favorable underlying market trends along with new product and service offerings. STERIS' strong organic growth across specialty services, life sciences and applied sterilization segments also buoys optimism. Recently, the company made a couple of organizational changes to serve customers in a better way. We also expect this move to enhance the company’s cost structure. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. On the flip side, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds continue to pose concerns. Moreover, STERIS' customers undergoing consolidation pose threats for the company.”

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STE has been the subject of a number of other reports. Raymond James Financial reissued a market perform rating and issued a $100.00 price target on shares of STERIS in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Northcoast Research set a $102.00 price target on STERIS and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a buy rating and issued a $103.00 price target on shares of STERIS in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. STERIS has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $85.40.

Shares of STERIS stock traded up $0.64 during trading on Monday, reaching $94.39. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 271,206 shares, compared to its average volume of 364,903. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 2.82 and a quick ratio of 2.22. STERIS has a 12-month low of $69.12 and a 12-month high of $96.43. The company has a market cap of $7,996.93, a PE ratio of 25.10 and a beta of 1.12.

STERIS (NYSE:STE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The medical equipment provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.05. STERIS had a return on equity of 11.57% and a net margin of 9.42%. The firm had revenue of $661.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $663.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that STERIS will post 4.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th were given a dividend of $0.31 per share. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.31%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, February 27th. This is an increase from STERIS’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. STERIS’s payout ratio is 32.98%.

In other news, CEO Walter M. Rosebrough, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.50, for a total value of $955,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard Martin Steeves sold 58,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $5,364,723.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 9,362 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $851,942. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 78,415 shares of company stock valued at $7,178,536. 2.55% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in STERIS during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in STERIS by 1,122.4% during the fourth quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,198 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in STERIS during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Zions Bancorporation acquired a new stake in STERIS during the third quarter valued at approximately $178,000. Finally, Driehaus Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in STERIS during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $241,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.40% of the company’s stock.

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STERIS plc develops, manufactures, and markets infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical and gastrointestinal support products and services for healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial, and governmental customers worldwide. The company's Healthcare Products segment offers steam, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide sterilizers, as well as liquid chemical sterilant processing systems; automated washer/disinfector systems; general and specialty surgical tables, surgical and examination lights, equipment management systems, operating room storage cabinets, warming cabinets, scrub sinks, and other accessories; and gastrointestinal devices and accessories.

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