Steris (STE) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Steris (NYSE:STE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, STERIS has been outperforming its broader industry. We are encouraged by the company's favorable underlying market trends along with new product and service offerings. STERIS' strong organic growth across specialty services, life sciences and applied sterilization segments also buoys optimism. Recently, the company made a couple of organizational changes to serve customers in a better way. We also expect this move to enhance the company’s cost structure. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. On the flip side, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds continue to pose concerns. Moreover, STERIS' customers undergoing consolidation pose threats for the company.”

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Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on STE. Northcoast Research set a $102.00 price target on Steris and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $103.00 price target on shares of Steris in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Steris in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $85.00.

STE traded down $1.95 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $92.25. 293,603 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 346,333. The company has a market capitalization of $7,992.69, a P/E ratio of 23.43 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 2.22 and a current ratio of 2.82. Steris has a 1-year low of $69.12 and a 1-year high of $96.43.

Steris (NYSE:STE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The medical equipment provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $661.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $663.17 million. Steris had a return on equity of 11.57% and a net margin of 9.42%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. analysts forecast that Steris will post 4.13 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th were given a dividend of $0.31 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, February 27th. This is a boost from Steris’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.34%. Steris’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.98%.

In other news, CEO Walter M. Rosebrough, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.50, for a total transaction of $955,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard Martin Steeves sold 58,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $5,364,723.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 9,362 shares in the company, valued at $851,942. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 78,415 shares of company stock worth $7,178,536 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 2.55% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Steris by 5.7% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 281,421 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $24,878,000 after buying an additional 15,169 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in Steris by 8.6% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 94,512 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $8,354,000 after buying an additional 7,469 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Steris by 6.4% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 346,617 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $30,641,000 after buying an additional 20,932 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Steris by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 621,958 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $54,976,000 after buying an additional 45,038 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP purchased a new position in Steris in the 3rd quarter valued at about $388,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.40% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Steris (NYSE:STE)

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