Chemed (CHE) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Chemed (NYSE:CHE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Chemed outperformed its industry in the past year. The company’s subsidiaries continue to register strong sales in recent times. The Roto-Rooter business saw consistent growth on strong performance by the core plumbing and drain cleaning service segments as well as solid growth in water restoration. The expansion in adjusted operating margin buoys optimism. The raised guidance for 2018 hints at a brighter picture ahead. Of the major concerns, reimbursement-related issues, seasonality in business, a competitive landscape and dependence on government mandate pose challenges. Moreover, more than 95% of VITAS’ net patient service revenues consist of payments from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which intensifies pricing pressure.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded Chemed from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Chemed to $321.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $315.33.

Chemed stock opened at $315.99 on Tuesday. Chemed has a 12 month low of $191.39 and a 12 month high of $335.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.04. The company has a market capitalization of $5.05 billion, a PE ratio of 30.13, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 1.15.

Chemed (NYSE:CHE) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The company reported $2.81 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.77 by $0.04. Chemed had a return on equity of 33.57% and a net margin of 11.00%. The company had revenue of $441.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $434.28 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.15 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Chemed will post 11.05 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 31st. Investors of record on Monday, August 13th were paid a $0.30 dividend. This is a boost from Chemed’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 10th. Chemed’s payout ratio is 22.39%.

In related news, insider Kevin J. Mcnamara sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $319.50, for a total value of $1,278,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 139,491 shares in the company, valued at $44,567,374.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Donald E. Saunders sold 300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $319.22, for a total value of $95,766.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 8,701 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,777,533.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 6,006 shares of company stock valued at $1,923,098. 4.82% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CHE. Fort L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Chemed in the second quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Summit Trail Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Chemed by 28,358.4% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 156,521 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,000 after purchasing an additional 155,971 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in Chemed by 70.0% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 544 shares of the company’s stock worth $175,000 after purchasing an additional 224 shares during the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC lifted its stake in Chemed by 234.0% during the first quarter. We Are One Seven LLC now owns 805 shares of the company’s stock worth $220,000 after purchasing an additional 564 shares during the last quarter. Finally, LPL Financial LLC bought a new stake in Chemed during the first quarter worth $236,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.54% of the company’s stock.

About Chemed

Chemed Corporation provides hospice and palliative care services in the United States. It operates through two segments, VITAS and Roto-Rooter. The VITAS segment offers direct medical services, as well as spiritual and emotional counseling services to terminally ill patients. This segment offers its services to patients through a network of physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy, and volunteers.

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