Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Steris Corp. (NYSE:STE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Governments and insurance companies’ consistent efforts to contain the rising cost of healthcare, has been putting a lot of pressure on the healthcare providers like STERIS. Moreover, customer consolidation remains a concerning issue. The company’s lowered revenue guidance for fiscal 2017 is further disappointing. However, with rapid aging of the global population in past few years a greater number of individuals are entering into their prime healthcare consumption years. This in turn is expected to boost the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries, from where STERIS earns bulk of its revenues. The company also has a strong cash balance position as is evident from the recent increase witnessed in its free cash flow reserve. Additionally lower effective tax rate played a crucial role in enhancing the company’s first quarter bottom line year over year growth.”

Separately, Northcoast Research raised Steris Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 3rd.

Shares of Steris Corp. (NYSE:STE) opened at 71.27 on Wednesday. Steris Corp. has a 12 month low of $61.38 and a 12 month high of $78.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.94 and a beta of 1.16. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $70.84 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.74.

Steris Corp. (NYSE:STE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 9th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.02. Steris Corp. had a return on equity of 10.72% and a net margin of 5.52%. The business had revenue of $638.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $639.04 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 45.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Steris Corp. will post $3.90 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 30th will be given a $0.28 dividend. This is an increase from Steris Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 26th. Steris Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 68.71%.

In other Steris Corp. news, insider Daniel A. Carestio sold 2,681 shares of Steris Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.04, for a total value of $190,458.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Adrian Vincent Coward sold 15,000 shares of Steris Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total value of $1,035,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.52% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of STE. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Steris Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $85,701,000. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Steris Corp. by 28.7% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 5,022,412 shares of the company’s stock valued at $345,288,000 after buying an additional 1,120,438 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in shares of Steris Corp. by 870.8% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,208,491 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,084,000 after buying an additional 1,084,007 shares in the last quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC acquired a new position in shares of Steris Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $46,505,000. Finally, Credit Suisse AG increased its position in shares of Steris Corp. by 251.4% in the second quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 631,374 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,408,000 after buying an additional 451,699 shares in the last quarter. 91.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Steris Corp.

STERIS Corporation (STERIS) is a provider of infection prevention and other procedural products and services. The Company is focused on healthcare, pharmaceutical and research. The Company operates through three business segments: Healthcare, Life Sciences and STERIS Isomedix Services. The Healthcare segment provides surgical, sterile processing, infection prevention and gastrointestinal solutions.

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