Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Healthcare Services Group (NASDAQ:HCSG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Healthcare Services Group, Inc. provides housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance and food services to the health care industry, including nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Healthcare Services Group has the experience and expertise to meet these needs, making the preferred choice for hospital and senior living clients nationwide. Healthcare Services Group has delivered exceptional housekeeping/laundry and dining/nutrition services to an ever-changing healthcare industry. Healthcare Services provide professional management of ancillary services to a diverse mix of satisfied clients. Flexible and responsive, our people are trained to help you achieve success by delivering innovative solutions, exceptional performance and measurable results. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on HCSG. ValuEngine lowered Healthcare Services Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded Healthcare Services Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $52.00 price target on Healthcare Services Group and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 14th. Stephens assumed coverage on Healthcare Services Group in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. They set an overweight rating on the stock. Finally, Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on Healthcare Services Group in a report on Thursday, October 4th. They set a hold rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $45.86.

Shares of Healthcare Services Group stock traded up $0.40 on Tuesday, reaching $42.58. 14,799 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 558,665. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.13 billion, a PE ratio of 35.76 and a beta of 0.89. Healthcare Services Group has a fifty-two week low of $35.04 and a fifty-two week high of $56.20.

Healthcare Services Group (NASDAQ:HCSG) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The business services provider reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $506.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $510.27 million. Healthcare Services Group had a return on equity of 17.80% and a net margin of 3.59%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.31 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Healthcare Services Group will post 1.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 23rd were paid a $0.195 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 21st. This represents a $0.78 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.83%. This is an increase from Healthcare Services Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. Healthcare Services Group’s payout ratio is 65.55%.

In other Healthcare Services Group news, Director Robert J. Moss sold 5,001 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.95, for a total value of $219,793.95. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,001 shares in the company, valued at $219,793.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert J. Moss sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.55, for a total value of $95,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $95,100. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 7,701 shares of company stock worth $347,780 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its holdings in Healthcare Services Group by 107.6% in the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 197,783 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $7,947,000 after acquiring an additional 102,489 shares in the last quarter. Arlington Partners LLC acquired a new position in Healthcare Services Group in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $76,000. Csenge Advisory Group acquired a new position in Healthcare Services Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Healthcare Services Group by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 6,969,490 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $283,101,000 after acquiring an additional 151,999 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great Lakes Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Healthcare Services Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $10,384,000.

About Healthcare Services Group

Healthcare Services Group, Inc provides management, administrative, and operating services to the housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance, and dietary service departments to nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Housekeeping and Dietary.

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