Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ryder System (NYSE:R) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ryder have outperformed the industry it belongs to in the last six months. The stock gained 18.2%, whille the industry appreciated 12.6%. We are encouraged by the company's efforts to reward its shareholders through dividend payments. In 2017, Ryder System hiked its quarterly cash dividend by 2 cents to 46 cents per share. The company's efforts to grow its lease fleet pleases us. Its strong customer base is also a positive. However, a weak rental demand  market has been hurting the company for quite some time. The company's high debt levels ansd escalating operating expenses are concerning as well. The company expects fourth quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share in the band of $1.31 to $1.41, much below the fourth quarter 2016 figure. Moreover, earnings per share for full-year 2017 are expected to contract 16.8% on a year-over-year basis due to the headwinds.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on R. ValuEngine lowered Ryder System from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $98.00 price target (up previously from $84.00) on shares of Ryder System in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Ryder System from $69.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Aegis reiterated a buy rating and issued a $91.00 price objective (up previously from $84.00) on shares of Ryder System in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Buckingham Research increased their price objective on Ryder System from $92.00 to $93.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ryder System presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $85.00.

Ryder System (NYSE:R) traded up $0.52 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $89.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 351,178 shares, compared to its average volume of 381,173. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.39. The firm has a market cap of $4,728.23, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.34, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.52. Ryder System has a 52 week low of $62.52 and a 52 week high of $90.00.

Ryder System (NYSE:R) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The transportation company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.29 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.80 billion. Ryder System had a return on equity of 10.72% and a net margin of 2.75%. Ryder System’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.67 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Ryder System will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ryder System declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, December 14th that allows the company to repurchase 1,500,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the transportation company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Dennis C. Cooke sold 32,328 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.46, for a total transaction of $2,633,438.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Robert D. Fatovic sold 17,755 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.44, for a total value of $1,463,722.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 63,633 shares of company stock worth $5,174,795. Company insiders own 1.95% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in shares of Ryder System by 8.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,953 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $141,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ryder System by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 6,099 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $439,000 after purchasing an additional 282 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ryder System by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 9,348 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $672,000 after purchasing an additional 514 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ryder System by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 38,043 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,738,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Ryder System by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 87,470 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $6,296,000 after purchasing an additional 685 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.35% of the company’s stock.

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Ryder System Company Profile

Ryder System, Inc is engaged in offering transportation and supply chain management solutions. The Company operates through three segments: Fleet Management Solutions (FMS), which provides leasing, commercial rental, contract maintenance, and contract-related maintenance of trucks, tractors and trailers to customers principally in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; Dedicated Transportation Solutions (DTS), which provides vehicles and drivers as part of a dedicated transportation solution in the United States, and Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), which provides supply chain solutions, including distribution and transportation services in North America and Asia.

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