Zacks Investment Research Lowers ePlus inc. (PLUS) to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ePlus inc. (NASDAQ:PLUS) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, “ePlus inc. is a leading provider of technology solutions. ePlus enables organizations to optimize their IT infrastructure and supply chain processes by delivering world-class IT products from top manufacturers, professional services, flexible lease financing, proprietary software, and patented business methods. With the highest certifications from top technology partners and expertise in key technologies from data center to security, cloud, and collaboration, ePlus transforms IT from a cost center to a business enabler. “

Several other research analysts have also commented on PLUS. BidaskClub lowered ePlus inc. from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a hold rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of ePlus inc. in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded ePlus inc. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $58.77.

Shares of ePlus inc. (NASDAQ PLUS) traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $79.45. The stock had a trading volume of 133,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 80,888. ePlus inc. has a 52 week low of $51.23 and a 52 week high of $97.75. The company has a quick ratio of 1.50, a current ratio of 1.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,125.92, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.29 and a beta of 1.34.

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ePlus inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Friday, August 18th that permits the company to repurchase 500,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the software maker to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Bruce M. Bowen sold 9,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.77, for a total transaction of $804,192.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark P. Marron sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.40, for a total value of $934,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 23,000 shares of company stock worth $2,051,420. 3.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. 1st Global Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of ePlus inc. by 1.2% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 5,178 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in shares of ePlus inc. by 1.0% during the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 10,885 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $1,469,000 after purchasing an additional 109 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its position in shares of ePlus inc. by 4.2% during the first quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 3,700 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $500,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of ePlus inc. by 4.2% during the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 10,740 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $1,450,000 after purchasing an additional 431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Teachers Retirement System grew its position in shares of ePlus inc. by 15.2% during the first quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 4,548 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $614,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. 85.08% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About ePlus inc.

ePlus inc. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the business of selling, leasing, financing and managing information technology. It operates through two segments: technology and financing. The technology segment sells information technology (IT) hardware products, third-party software and maintenance contracts, its own and third-party professional and managed services, and its software.

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