Short Interest in Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) Drops By 15.5%

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Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) saw a significant decrease in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,417,500 shares, a decrease of 15.5% from the July 31st total of 9,966,900 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 797,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 10.6 days. Currently, 4.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Shares of Service Co. International stock traded up $1.17 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $48.56. 997,900 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 980,458. Service Co. International has a 1 year low of $37.52 and a 1 year high of $48.69. The company has a market capitalization of $8.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.91. The business has a fifty day moving average of $46.71 and a two-hundred day moving average of $44.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.99.

Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) last released its earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47. Service Co. International had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 20.55%. The business had revenue of $812.57 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $811.01 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts predict that Service Co. International will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

Service Co. International announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 14th that allows the company to buyback $246.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 2.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. Service Co. International’s payout ratio is 40.22%.

Separately, Raymond James upped their target price on shares of Service Co. International from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.33.

In other Service Co. International news, insider Tammy R. Moore sold 51,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.83, for a total transaction of $2,416,428.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 62,163 shares in the company, valued at $2,911,093.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Tammy R. Moore sold 7,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.89, for a total transaction of $370,431.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 32,763 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,536,257.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 562,935 shares of company stock valued at $26,614,707 over the last 90 days. 5.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SCI. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Service Co. International by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,695,469 shares of the company’s stock worth $68,257,000 after buying an additional 62,113 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Service Co. International by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,728,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $69,579,000 after purchasing an additional 138,359 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in shares of Service Co. International by 90.1% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,376 shares of the company’s stock valued at $216,000 after purchasing an additional 2,548 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its holdings in shares of Service Co. International by 95.1% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 15,041 shares of the company’s stock valued at $604,000 after purchasing an additional 7,332 shares during the period. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Service Co. International by 3.0% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 18,788 shares of the company’s stock valued at $754,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares during the period. 88.05% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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