Aramark (ARMK) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $36.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “ARAMARK Holdings Corporation offers food services, facilities management, uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities, school districts, stadiums and businesses. It operates primarily in three segments: Food and Support Services North America, Food and Support Services International and Uniform and Career Apparel segment. The company’s FSS North America and FSS International segment provides food, refreshment, specialized dietary and support services, including facility maintenance and housekeeping. Uniform segment provides rental, sale, cleaning, maintenance and delivery of personalized uniform and career apparel and other textile items. It operates primarily in North America, United Kingdom, Germany, Chile and Ireland. ARAMARK Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. “

ARMK has been the subject of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on shares of Aramark from $53.00 to $44.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Aramark from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, February 11th. Nomura reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $28.00 target price (down from $46.00) on shares of Aramark in a report on Monday, March 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $34.00 target price on shares of Aramark and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Aramark currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.25.

ARMK opened at $34.79 on Wednesday. Aramark has a 12-month low of $25.49 and a 12-month high of $43.70. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21. The company has a market cap of $8.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.10.

Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. Aramark had a net margin of 3.27% and a return on equity of 17.31%. The company had revenue of $4 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.01 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.48 EPS. Aramark’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Aramark will post 2.12 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 16th were paid a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 15th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.26%. Aramark’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.11%.

In other Aramark news, EVP Lynn Mckee sold 43,915 shares of Aramark stock in a transaction on Friday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.58, for a total transaction of $1,299,005.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 3.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ARMK. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its position in shares of Aramark by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 20,930,336 shares of the company’s stock valued at $900,423,000 after acquiring an additional 217,046 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Aramark by 16.6% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 16,753,318 shares of the company’s stock valued at $485,344,000 after acquiring an additional 2,390,912 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Aramark by 14.3% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,018,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $473,333,000 after acquiring an additional 2,006,743 shares during the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C boosted its position in shares of Aramark by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 14,445,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,495,000 after acquiring an additional 502,826 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lunia Capital LP boosted its position in shares of Aramark by 2,227.1% during the 4th quarter. Lunia Capital LP now owns 12,263,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,263,000 after acquiring an additional 11,736,091 shares during the last quarter. 97.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Aramark Company Profile

Aramark provides food, facilities management, and uniform services to education, healthcare, business and industry, sports, leisure, and corrections clients in North America and internationally. It operates in three segments: Food and Support Services United States, Food and Support Services International, and Uniform and Career Apparel.

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