Zacks Investment Research Lowers Steris Plc (NYSE:STE) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Steris Plc (NYSE:STE) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday, November 6th.

According to Zacks, “STERIS exited second-quarter fiscal 2018 on a mixed note with earnings missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues beating the same. The company’s organic growth was strong across Specialty Services, Life Sciences and Applied Sterilization segments. Moreover, gross and operating margin expanded year over year. Recently, the company made a couple of organizational changes, expected to serve its customers in a better way. We also expect this move to enhance the company’s cost structure. Further, growth in free cash flow is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. Over the last three months, STERIS has been trading above the broader industry. On the flip side, the year-over-year decline in revenues in the reported quarter was a disappointment. Moreover, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds may continue to pose concerns.”

STE has been the topic of several other reports. KeyCorp restated an overweight rating and set a $101.00 target price (up from $91.00) on shares of Steris in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Raymond James Financial, Inc. boosted their target price on shares of Steris from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Steris from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $77.80.

Steris (NYSE:STE) traded up $0.58 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $88.48. 89,204 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 356,679. The company has a current ratio of 2.80, a quick ratio of 2.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Steris has a 12 month low of $64.37 and a 12 month high of $93.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $7,476.10, a PE ratio of 22.66 and a beta of 1.31.

Steris (NYSE:STE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The medical equipment provider reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by ($0.01). Steris had a net margin of 5.59% and a return on equity of 11.49%. The firm had revenue of $634.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $629.02 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Steris will post 4.06 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be paid a dividend of $0.31 per share. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 21st. Steris’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 73.81%.

In other Steris news, CEO Walter M. Rosebrough, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of Steris stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.50, for a total value of $905,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard Martin Steeves sold 156,072 shares of Steris stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.13, for a total value of $13,598,553.36. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 9,362 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $815,711.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 192,722 shares of company stock valued at $16,913,753 in the last three months. 2.55% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Steris during the 3rd quarter worth about $284,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Steris by 10.8% during the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 9,083 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $803,000 after purchasing an additional 886 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Steris by 7.1% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 211,344 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $18,683,000 after purchasing an additional 14,062 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation purchased a new stake in shares of Steris during the 3rd quarter worth about $178,000. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Steris during the 3rd quarter worth about $952,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.79% of the company’s stock.

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About Steris

STERIS plc provides infection prevention and other procedural products and services. The Company operates through four segments: Healthcare Products, which offers infection prevention and procedural solutions for healthcare providers, including capital equipment and related maintenance, and installation services, as well as consumables; Healthcare Specialty Services, which provides a range of specialty services for healthcare providers, including hospital sterilization services, instrument and scope repairs, and linen management; Life Sciences, which offers capital equipment and consumable products, and equipment maintenance and specialty services for pharmaceutical manufacturers and research facilities, and Applied Sterilization Technologies, which offers contract sterilization and laboratory services for medical device and pharmaceutical customers and others.

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