Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $209.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Vail Resorts, Inc. is one of the leading resort operators in North America. The company’s operations are grouped into two segments, Resort and Real Estate. In the company’s Resort segment, they own and operate resort properties which provide a comprehensive resort experience throughout the year to a diverse clientele with an attractive demographic profile. The company’s Real Estate segment develops, buys and sells real estate in and around the their resort communities. “

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Janney Montgomery Scott reiterated a buy rating and set a $195.00 target price on shares of Vail Resorts in a report on Friday, January 20th. MKM Partners reiterated a buy rating and set a $187.00 target price on shares of Vail Resorts in a report on Friday, December 23rd. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Vail Resorts to $215.00 in a report on Monday, March 13th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Vail Resorts from $181.00 to $205.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, March 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $186.83.

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) opened at 188.93 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $7.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.60 and a beta of 0.47. Vail Resorts has a 52-week low of $124.00 and a 52-week high of $194.05. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $180.07 and a 200-day moving average price of $165.04.

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) last released its earnings results on Friday, March 10th. The company reported $3.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.37 by $0.26. Vail Resorts had a return on equity of 13.81% and a net margin of 9.14%. The business had revenue of $725.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $708.73 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $3.14 earnings per share. Vail Resorts’s revenue was up 21.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Vail Resorts will post $5.35 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 13th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 29th will be paid a $1.053 dividend. This is a positive change from Vail Resorts’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.81. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 27th. This represents a $4.21 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.23%. Vail Resorts’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.72%.

In other Vail Resorts news, Director John Redmond sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.51, for a total value of $1,211,325.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 14,890 shares in the company, valued at $2,404,883.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director John F. Sorte sold 6,082 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $186.98, for a total value of $1,137,212.36. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 56,362 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,538,566.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MTN. William Blair Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Vail Resorts by 115.7% in the fourth quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 742,376 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,753,000 after buying an additional 398,145 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Vail Resorts during the fourth quarter valued at about $50,522,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Vail Resorts during the third quarter valued at about $32,843,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Vail Resorts by 95.6% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 352,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,224,000 after buying an additional 172,059 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Vail Resorts by 276.3% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 202,182 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,614,000 after buying an additional 148,460 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.34% of the company’s stock.

About Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts, Inc is a holding company. The Company operates through three segments: Mountain, Lodging and Real Estate. Its Mountain segment operates over 10 mountain resort properties and approximately three urban ski areas, as well as ancillary services, primarily including, ski school, dining, and retail/rental operations.

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