Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

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Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 5,300,000 shares, an increase of 49.7% from the September 15th total of 3,540,000 shares. Approximately 3.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,080,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.9 days.

SCI has been the topic of several analyst reports. Raymond James reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Service Co. International in a report on Thursday, September 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Service Co. International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 29th. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on shares of Service Co. International in a report on Wednesday, August 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on shares of Service Co. International from $43.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 31st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.71.

Shares of NYSE:SCI traded up $0.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $44.12. The stock had a trading volume of 470,194 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,206,494. The firm has a market cap of $7.77 billion, a PE ratio of 19.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.76. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $43.54 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $40.76. The company has a current ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04. Service Co. International has a twelve month low of $33.93 and a twelve month high of $52.89.

Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 29th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.24 by $0.34. Service Co. International had a net margin of 12.50% and a return on equity of 20.42%. The business had revenue of $820.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $708.31 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.47 EPS. Service Co. International’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Service Co. International will post 1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 30th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.72%. Service Co. International’s payout ratio is 40.00%.

Service Co. International declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, August 12th that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Two Sigma Investments LP grew its stake in shares of Service Co. International by 75.4% during the 1st quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 74,476 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,913,000 after acquiring an additional 32,024 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Service Co. International by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 237,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,241,000 after acquiring an additional 7,013 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. grew its stake in shares of Service Co. International by 6.2% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 531,937 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,686,000 after acquiring an additional 31,086 shares in the last quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Service Co. International by 27.9% in the second quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 64,830 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,521,000 after buying an additional 14,130 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Balyasny Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Service Co. International in the first quarter valued at $1,977,000. 85.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Service Co. International

Service Corporation International provides deathcare products and services in the United States and Canada. The company operates through Funeral and Cemetery segments. Its funeral service and cemetery operations comprise funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and other businesses.

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