DST Systems Inc. (NYSE:DST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “DST Systems is one of the leading global providers of sophisticated information processing software and systems to the financial services industry, primarily mutual funds and investment managers. Off late, estimates for the company have been stable. We opine that DST Systems’ business volume and massive scale of operation in Financial Services will attract new customers. We also expect steady contributions from acquisitions to support revenue growth. Continued share buybacks and dividend payments should provide further tailwinds. Nonetheless, persistent decline in registered accounts, ongoing consolidation in the U.S. financial services market and stiff competition may put its fundamentals under pressure.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on DST. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on DST Systems in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $128.00 target price for the company. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $132.00 target price on shares of DST Systems in a research report on Monday, June 27th.

Shares of DST Systems (NYSE:DST) opened at 119.10 on Tuesday. DST Systems has a 52-week low of $97.32 and a 52-week high of $128.66. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $120.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $117.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.88 billion, a PE ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 1.24.

DST Systems (NYSE:DST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.08. The business earned $526.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $545.57 million. DST Systems had a return on equity of 21.20% and a net margin of 9.90%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.39 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that DST Systems will post $5.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 26th were given a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 24th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. DST Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.08%.

In other DST Systems news, CFO Gregg Wm Givens sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.52, for a total transaction of $1,215,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 63,385 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,702,545.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Vercie L. Lark sold 15,210 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.34, for a total value of $1,830,371.40. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 29,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,562,064. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.83% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in DST Systems by 912.7% in the first quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 1,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 931 shares during the last quarter. Cutler Group LP boosted its stake in DST Systems by 703.2% in the first quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 1,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 1,097 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in DST Systems by 4.7% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in DST Systems during the second quarter worth $194,000. Finally, WFG Advisors LP boosted its stake in DST Systems by 13.3% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $198,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 86.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

DST Systems Company Profile

DST Systems, Inc (DST) is a provider of technology-based information processing and servicing solutions. The Company offers its solutions through unified data management, business processing and customer communications solutions to clients within the asset management, brokerage, retirement and healthcare markets.

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