Service Co. International (SCI) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Service Corporation reported second consecutive bottom-line miss when it released fourth-quarter 2018 results. Performance was hurt by lower profit in the funeral segment. Further, rising general and administrative costs as well as increased interest expenses have been a persistent headwind. Also, consumers’ rising inclination toward cremations over traditional burials is a threat as cremations generate lower revenues. Use of alternative channels, like e-commerce, to buy funeral related products is also a concern for the stock that has dropped in the past six months. Nevertheless, the company continued to witness enhanced cemetery revenues in the fourth quarter. Management expects the strong performance to continue backed by focus on driving revenues, utilizing scale and allocating capital efficiently. Markedly, acquisitions and building new funeral homes form an integral part of the company’s capital investments.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on SCI. ValuEngine downgraded Service Co. International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 11th. Raymond James cut Service Co. International from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Service Co. International currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.75.

Shares of SCI opened at $40.69 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.15, a current ratio of 0.60 and a quick ratio of 0.55. The company has a market cap of $7.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.73, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 1.06. Service Co. International has a 52 week low of $35.19 and a 52 week high of $47.09.

Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 18th. The company reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.02). Service Co. International had a return on equity of 21.92% and a net margin of 14.02%. The company had revenue of $820.81 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $843.45 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.50 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Service Co. International will post 1.93 EPS for the current year.

In other Service Co. International news, Director Tony Coelho sold 6,325 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.65, for a total value of $250,786.25. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 61,750 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,448,387.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Mecom, Jr. sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.91, for a total transaction of $670,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 114,835 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,812,734.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,322,555 shares of company stock worth $55,091,685. 6.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Service Co. International by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,254,187 shares of the company’s stock valued at $694,655,000 after buying an additional 117,664 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Service Co. International by 0.7% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,776,201 shares of the company’s stock worth $697,308,000 after acquiring an additional 113,245 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Service Co. International by 0.7% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 15,776,201 shares of the company’s stock worth $697,308,000 after acquiring an additional 113,245 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. boosted its stake in Service Co. International by 47.0% in the fourth quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 11,940,093 shares of the company’s stock valued at $480,708,000 after acquiring an additional 3,819,041 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Select Equity Group L.P. boosted its stake in Service Co. International by 1.2% in the third quarter. Select Equity Group L.P. now owns 10,328,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $456,535,000 after acquiring an additional 117,610 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.28% of the company’s stock.

About Service Co. International

Service Corporation International provides deathcare products and services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through Funeral and Cemetery segments. Its funeral service and cemetery operations comprise funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and other businesses.

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