Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Chemed Corp. (NYSE:CHE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Monday. The brokerage currently has $216.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Following its promising second quarter 2017 performance, Chemed has been observed to trade above the broader industry over the past six months. Also, the guidance raise backed by  the company's expectations of significant gains from its Roto-Rooter business buoys optimism. This business has witnessed consistent growth over the recent past banking on strong performance within its core plumbing and drain cleaning service segments, as well as solid growth in water restoration. However, headwinds like reimbursement related issues, seasonality in business, a competitive landscape and dependence on government mandate pose challenges for Chemed.  Moreover, over 90% of VITAS’ revenues consist of payments from the Medicare and Medicaid programs which further intensify pricing pressure. Also, a tweaked guidance for Medicare Cap billing limitations raises concern.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on CHE. TheStreet downgraded shares of Chemed Corp. from a b+ rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $209.00 target price on shares of Chemed Corp. in a research report on Friday, September 1st. KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Chemed Corp. in a research report on Monday, August 28th. They issued a sector weight rating on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Chemed Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upped their target price on shares of Chemed Corp. from $200.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $215.00.

Chemed Corp. (CHE) opened at 190.74 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.32 and a beta of 1.14. Chemed Corp. has a 52 week low of $132.92 and a 52 week high of $216.01. The company’s 50-day moving average is $193.25 and its 200 day moving average is $196.09.

Chemed Corp. (NYSE:CHE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.89 by $0.26. The business had revenue of $415.06 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $407.56 million. Chemed Corp. had a net margin of 4.16% and a return on equity of 26.18%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.80 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Chemed Corp. will post $8.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 14th were given a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 10th. This is an increase from Chemed Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.59%. Chemed Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.07%.

In other news, insider Spencer S. Lee sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.46, for a total value of $197,460.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 37,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,465,765.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Kevin J. Mcnamara sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $201.16, for a total transaction of $3,017,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 173,801 shares in the company, valued at $34,961,809.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Chemed Corp. by 145,760.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,955,994 shares of the company’s stock worth $357,341,000 after buying an additional 1,954,653 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Chemed Corp. by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,830,711 shares of the company’s stock worth $374,435,000 after purchasing an additional 34,938 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in Chemed Corp. by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,060,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,725,000 after purchasing an additional 23,306 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Chemed Corp. by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 579,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,454,000 after purchasing an additional 7,636 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in Chemed Corp. by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 453,605 shares of the company’s stock worth $92,782,000 after purchasing an additional 8,238 shares in the last quarter. 96.96% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Chemed Corp.

Chemed Corporation purchases, operates and divests subsidiaries engaged in various business activities. The Company operates through two segments: the VITAS segment (VITAS) and the Roto-Rooter segment (Roto-Rooter). The Company’s VITAS provides hospice and palliative care services to its patients through a network of physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy and volunteers.

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