Zacks Investment Research Lowers Carriage Services (CSV) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Carriage Services, Inc. is a leading provider of death care services and products in the United States. Carriage provides a complete range of services relating to funerals, burials and cremations, including the use of funeral homes and motor vehicles, the performance of cemetery interment services and the management and maintenance of cemetery grounds. They also sell related products and merchandise including caskets, burial vaults, garments, cemetery interment rights, stone and bronze memorials, as well as other items. “

Carriage Services (NYSE CSV) traded up $1.39 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $27.64. The company had a trading volume of 211,522 shares, compared to its average volume of 144,464. The stock has a market capitalization of $422.26, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.10, a PEG ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 0.82. Carriage Services has a 52-week low of $23.15 and a 52-week high of $28.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.86, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.70.

Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $65.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $65.34 million. Carriage Services had a net margin of 14.41% and a return on equity of 13.53%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.36 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Carriage Services will post 2.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th will be issued a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.09%. Carriage Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 14.22%.

Carriage Services declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $15.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, COO Mark R. Bruce sold 3,000 shares of Carriage Services stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.40, for a total value of $79,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 4,241 shares of company stock valued at $111,354. 13.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Bank of Nova Scotia purchased a new stake in Carriage Services during the 2nd quarter worth about $693,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership purchased a new stake in Carriage Services during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,270,000. Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Carriage Services by 15.6% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 38,724 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,044,000 after buying an additional 5,228 shares during the last quarter. DF Dent & Co. Inc. purchased a new stake in Carriage Services during the 3rd quarter worth about $803,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Carriage Services by 11.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 672,941 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,142,000 after buying an additional 67,928 shares during the last quarter. 90.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Carriage Services

Carriage Services, Inc is a provider of death care services and merchandise in the United States. The Company operates in two business segments: Funeral Home Operations and Cemetery Operations. The Funeral Homes segment provides funeral services (traditional burial and cremation) and sells related merchandise, such as caskets and urns.

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