Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 11,999,400 shares, a growth of 20.7% from the July 31st total of 9,939,100 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 3,640,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.3 days. Currently, 4.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on ARMK shares. ValuEngine raised Aramark from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Aramark from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $49.00 in a research report on Monday, August 19th. TheStreet raised Aramark from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, July 5th. Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on Aramark from $40.00 to $44.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, August 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Aramark from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 16th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Aramark presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.62.

NYSE:ARMK traded up $0.02 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $43.12. 18,408 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,034,797. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.89. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $38.73 and its 200 day simple moving average is $34.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.19, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.22. Aramark has a fifty-two week low of $25.49 and a fifty-two week high of $43.70.

Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $4.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.99 billion. Aramark had a return on equity of 17.39% and a net margin of 3.33%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.48 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Aramark will post 2.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.02%. Aramark’s payout ratio is currently 22.11%.

In related news, insider Keith Bethel sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.40, for a total transaction of $280,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 43,692 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,634,080.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its holdings in Aramark by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 81,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,955,000 after purchasing an additional 3,831 shares during the last quarter. Natixis lifted its holdings in Aramark by 497.9% during the 2nd quarter. Natixis now owns 311,341 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,227,000 after purchasing an additional 259,267 shares during the last quarter. Sage Rhino Capital LLC lifted its holdings in Aramark by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Sage Rhino Capital LLC now owns 15,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $564,000 after purchasing an additional 612 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its stake in Aramark by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 1,209,032 shares of the company’s stock worth $43,597,000 after acquiring an additional 5,243 shares during the period. Finally, York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC bought a new position in Aramark during the 2nd quarter worth $5,794,000. 98.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Aramark

Aramark provides food, facilities management, and uniform services to education, healthcare, business and industry, sports, leisure, and corrections clients in North America and internationally. It operates in three segments: Food and Support Services United States, Food and Support Services International, and Uniform and Career Apparel.

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