Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Casey's have surged and outpaced the industry in a year. The company continued with its positive earnings surprise streak for the third straight quarter. Notably, the bottom line improved yet again on a year-over-year basis in third-quarter fiscal 2019. However, the top line fell short of the consensus mark. Also, total revenues marginally declined year over year. We note that management trimmed fuel gallons same-store sales projection again. Nevertheless, the company is on track with its Value Creation Plan. This includes new fleet card program, price and product optimization, digital engagements comprising mobile app and online ordering capabilities, cost containment efforts as well as capital reallocation plan. However, higher operating expenses remain a concern. Analysts also pointed that any rise in wholesale fuel costs and higher input costs and promotional activity may impact results.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on CASY. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Casey’s General Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 28th. Sidoti boosted their target price on shares of Casey’s General Stores from $115.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $131.00 target price on shares of Casey’s General Stores and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of Casey’s General Stores from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 12th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $143.00 target price on shares of Casey’s General Stores in a research note on Wednesday, December 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $133.20.

Shares of NASDAQ CASY opened at $127.67 on Wednesday. Casey’s General Stores has a 1-year low of $90.42 and a 1-year high of $138.45. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.51, a P/E/G ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.46. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93.

Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) last announced its earnings results on Monday, March 11th. The company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.18. Casey’s General Stores had a net margin of 2.14% and a return on equity of 14.89%. The company had revenue of $2.05 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.20 billion. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Casey’s General Stores will post 5.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 30th. Casey’s General Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.45%.

In related news, insider Terry W. Handley sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.05, for a total transaction of $650,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 36,945 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,804,697.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP William J. Walljasper sold 4,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.44, for a total transaction of $552,292.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 26,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,360,632.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.72% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Casey’s General Stores by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,187,331 shares of the company’s stock valued at $408,424,000 after purchasing an additional 95,527 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in Casey’s General Stores by 2.3% in the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,392,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $179,783,000 after purchasing an additional 31,899 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Casey’s General Stores by 20.7% in the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 804,882 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,918,000 after purchasing an additional 138,280 shares in the last quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. increased its stake in Casey’s General Stores by 15.8% in the third quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 745,512 shares of the company’s stock valued at $96,252,000 after purchasing an additional 101,919 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Casey’s General Stores by 11.2% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 731,704 shares of the company’s stock valued at $94,471,000 after purchasing an additional 73,633 shares in the last quarter. 88.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Casey’s General Stores Company Profile

Casey's General Stores, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates convenience stores under the Casey's and Casey's General Store names. The company's stores offer a selection of food, including freshly prepared foods, such as pizza, donuts, and sandwiches; beverage and tobacco products; health and beauty aids; automotive products; school supplies, housewares, and pet supplies; and other nonfood items.

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Analyst Recommendations for Casey`s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY)

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