Shares of Carriage Services, Inc. (NYSE:CSV) have been given a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Brokerages have set a one year consensus price objective of $30.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.33 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Carriage Services an industry rank of 209 out of 254 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Sidoti raised their target price on Carriage Services from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 20th. Zacks Investment Research raised Carriage Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Barrington Research reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $30.00 target price (up previously from $25.00) on shares of Carriage Services in a report on Wednesday, May 20th.

Carriage Services stock traded up $0.26 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $18.72. 12,560 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 237,101. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $15.54 and a 200-day simple moving average of $21.16. Carriage Services has a 12 month low of $13.54 and a 12 month 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 firm has a market cap of $330.47 million, a PE ratio of 87.90, a PEG ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 0.76.

Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 19th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $77.49 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $68.85 million. Carriage Services had a return on equity of 9.68% and a net margin of 1.35%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Carriage Services will post 1.4 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 1st. Investors of record on Monday, May 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.60%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 8th. Carriage Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.00%.

In related news, CEO Melvin C. Payne sold 25,632 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.97, for a total transaction of $383,711.04. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,231,167 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,430,569.99. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Viki K. Blinderman acquired 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $16.87 per share, for a total transaction of $25,305.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 13,993 shares in the company, valued at $236,061.91. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have purchased 16,202 shares of company stock worth $296,894. 11.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Carriage Services during the 1st quarter worth about $25,000. Invesco Ltd. lifted its holdings in Carriage Services by 5.7% during the 1st quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 31,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $507,000 after buying an additional 1,691 shares during the period. Teton Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Carriage Services by 46.7% during the 1st quarter. Teton Advisors Inc. now owns 88,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,421,000 after buying an additional 28,002 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Carriage Services by 6.7% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 230,861 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,728,000 after buying an additional 14,570 shares during the period. Finally, Dean Capital Management acquired a new position in Carriage Services during the 1st quarter worth about $235,000. 75.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Carriage Services

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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