Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on CSV. Sidoti raised their price target on Carriage Services from $29.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 3rd. Barrington Research initiated coverage on Carriage Services in a research note on Thursday, March 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $35.00 price target on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Carriage Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 21st.

CSV stock opened at $15.46 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $271.13 million, a P/E ratio of 19.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 0.76. Carriage Services has a 1 year low of $14.01 and a 1 year high of $28.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.28, a current ratio of 1.12 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $21.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.26.

In related news, COO William Goetz bought 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 5th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $20.50 per share, for a total transaction of $102,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 15,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $307,500. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Melvin C. Payne sold 1,097 shares of Carriage Services stock in a transaction on Friday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.55, for a total value of $26,931.35. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,256,799 shares in the company, valued at $30,854,415.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 11,386 shares of company stock worth $222,246 and have sold 2,642 shares worth $63,625. 11.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can purchased a new position in Carriage Services during the fourth quarter valued at $31,000. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of Carriage Services in the fourth quarter valued at about $101,000. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its position in shares of Carriage Services by 17.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,166 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 623 shares in the last quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Carriage Services in the fourth quarter valued at about $118,000. Finally, Mechanics Bank Trust Department purchased a new position in shares of Carriage Services in the fourth quarter valued at about $213,000. Institutional investors own 79.89% of the company’s stock.

Carriage Services Company Profile

Carriage Services, Inc provides funeral and cemetery services, and merchandise in the United States. It operates through two segments, Funeral Home Operations and Cemetery Operations. The Funeral Home Operations segment offers burial, cremation, and consultation services; removes and prepares remains; sells caskets, urns, and related funeral merchandise; and enables the use of funeral home facilities for visitation, remembrance, and transportation services.

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