Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the seven research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $35.00.

A number of research firms have recently commented on SCI. Zacks Investment Research cut Service Corporation International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. BidaskClub upgraded Service Corporation International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG began coverage on Service Corporation International in a research report on Monday, May 1st. They set a “buy” rating and a $40.00 target price on the stock.

Service Corporation International (SCI) opened at 34.25 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $32.14 and its 200 day moving average price is $30.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.91 and a beta of 0.93. Service Corporation International has a 12 month low of $24.90 and a 12 month high of $34.38.

Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.08. Service Corporation International had a return on equity of 23.87% and a net margin of 9.94%. The business had revenue of $777.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $764.02 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Service Corporation International will post $1.42 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. This is a positive change from Service Corporation International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. Service Corporation International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.22%.

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In related news, CEO Thomas L. Ryan sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.80, for a total transaction of $3,180,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,175,109 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $37,368,466.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Thomas L. Ryan sold 48,606 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.92, for a total value of $1,551,503.52. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,123,715 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,868,982.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 331,400 shares of company stock worth $10,639,948. Corporate insiders own 6.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Service Corporation International during the fourth quarter worth $1,337,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its stake in shares of Service Corporation International by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 32,440 shares of the company’s stock worth $921,000 after buying an additional 2,020 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Service Corporation International during the fourth quarter worth $41,488,000. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Service Corporation International by 23.1% in the fourth quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 400,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,360,000 after buying an additional 75,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Service Corporation International by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 209,485 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,949,000 after buying an additional 16,070 shares in the last quarter. 85.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Service Corporation International

Service Corporation International is a provider of deathcare products and services, with a network of funeral service locations and cemeteries. The Company’s segments include Funeral, Cemetery and Corporate. It conducts both funeral and cemetery operations in the United States and Canada. As December 31, 2016, it operated 1,502 funeral service locations and 470 cemeteries, including 281 funeral service/cemetery combination locations, which are geographically diversified across 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

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