Carriage Services (CSV) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, February 19th. The firm currently has $29.00 price target on the stock.

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. “

Separately, Barrington Research reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $32.00 price target (up previously from $30.00) on shares of Carriage Services in a research report on Thursday, February 15th.

Shares of Carriage Services (NYSE CSV) traded up $0.32 during trading on Monday, hitting $28.33. The stock had a trading volume of 108,618 shares, compared to its average volume of 121,002. Carriage Services has a twelve month low of $23.15 and a twelve month high of $28.96. The firm has a market cap of $457.76, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.35, a PEG ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74.

Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.01). Carriage Services had a return on equity of 13.27% and a net margin of 14.41%. The firm had revenue of $65.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $65.34 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.36 EPS. Carriage Services’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Carriage Services will post 2.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 12th were issued a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 9th. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.06%. Carriage Services’s payout ratio is currently 14.22%.

In other news, Director James Raymond Schenck purchased 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $27.79 per share, for a total transaction of $27,790.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 6,061 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $168,435.19. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Barry K. Fingerhut acquired 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $27.50 per share, with a total value of $68,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $68,750. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 13.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CSV. Ameriprise Financial Inc. acquired a new position in Carriage Services during the third quarter worth $4,930,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Carriage Services by 13.8% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,193,211 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,678,000 after buying an additional 144,656 shares in the last quarter. Mendel Money Management purchased a new position in Carriage Services during the fourth quarter worth $2,924,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Carriage Services by 8.6% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 979,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,183,000 after buying an additional 77,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Carriage Services by 11.2% during the second 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 in the last quarter. 87.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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