Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,966,900 shares, a growth of 20.3% from the June 30th total of 8,287,200 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 813,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 12.3 days. Approximately 5.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Service Co. International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Raymond James increased their price objective on shares of Service Co. International from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Service Co. International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Service Co. International currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.33.

In other news, VP Gregory T. Sangalis sold 14,107 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $620,708.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 169,383 shares in the company, valued at $7,452,852. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Gregory T. Sangalis sold 71,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.80, for a total transaction of $2,913,120.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 169,383 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,910,826.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 409,287 shares of company stock valued at $17,844,533 over the last quarter. Insiders own 5.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Service Co. International by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,695,469 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,257,000 after acquiring an additional 62,113 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its holdings in Service Co. International by 210.8% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 94,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,824,000 after purchasing an additional 64,421 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Service Co. International by 8.7% during the 4th 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 last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Service Co. International by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 61,966 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,486,000 after purchasing an additional 1,805 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. lifted its holdings in Service Co. International by 39.6% during the 1st quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 13,071 shares of the company’s stock valued at $525,000 after purchasing an additional 3,706 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.94% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:SCI traded up $0.37 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $47.27. 41,762 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 806,978. The stock has a market cap of $8.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.42, a P/E/G ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.92. Service Co. International has a 12 month low of $37.52 and a 12 month high of $48.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.99, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.60. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $46.81.

Service Co. International (NYSE:SCI) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47. The firm had revenue of $812.57 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $811.01 million. Service Co. International had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 20.55%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.44 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Service Co. International will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Investors 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 yield of 1.52%. Service Co. International’s payout ratio is 40.22%.

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.

Read More: What does a bar chart display?

Receive News & Ratings for Service Co. International Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Service Co. International and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.