STERIS PLC (STE) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. The brokerage currently has $101.00 price objective on the medical equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, STERIS has been trading above the broader industry. The company has gained investors’ confidence by posting better-than-expected results on both lines in first-quarter fiscal 2018. Also, organic growth performance was strong across all segments. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. Moreover, both 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. Also, we expect that this move will enhance the company’s cost structure. On the flip side, the year-over-year decline in revenues in the last reported quarter was a disappointment. Moreover, a tough competitive landscape and currency headwinds may continue to remain a concern for the company.”

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on STE. Raymond James Financial, Inc. boosted their target price on STERIS PLC from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub downgraded STERIS PLC from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $89.00.

STERIS PLC (NYSE STE) opened at 90.60 on Monday. STERIS PLC has a one year low of $63.80 and a one year high of $91.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 64.81 and a beta of 1.29. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $87.61 and a 200-day moving average price of $80.59.

STERIS PLC (NYSE:STE) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The medical equipment provider reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.05. STERIS PLC had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 4.63%. The business had revenue of $608.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $597.66 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.79 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that STERIS PLC will post $4.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th were issued a $0.31 dividend. This is an increase from STERIS PLC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 25th. STERIS PLC’s payout ratio is presently 88.57%.

In other news, Director Mohsen Sohi sold 2,744 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.98, for a total value of $235,929.12. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 21,816 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,875,739.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael J. Tokich sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.75, for a total value of $1,077,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 194,086 shares of company stock valued at $16,953,621 over the last three months. Company insiders own 2.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of STE. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in STERIS PLC by 14.0% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 8,593 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $597,000 after acquiring an additional 1,055 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in STERIS PLC by 18.6% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 23,513 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,633,000 after acquiring an additional 3,683 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in STERIS PLC by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 67,052 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $4,657,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in STERIS PLC in the 1st quarter valued at about $1,098,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its position in STERIS PLC by 71.3% in the 1st quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 7,635 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $530,000 after acquiring an additional 3,179 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.33% of the company’s stock.

STERIS PLC Company Profile

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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