PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “PriceSmart, Inc. is primarily engaged in the operation of membership shopping warehouses in international markets. The company’s business consists of international membership shopping stores similar to, but smaller in size than, warehouse clubs in the United States. The warehouses sell basic consumer goods with an emphasis on quality, low prices and efficient operations. By offering low prices on brand name and private label merchandise, the warehouses seek to generate sufficient sales volumes to operate profitably at relatively low gross margins. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on PSMT. Scotia Howard Weill reissued a “sector perform” rating on shares of PriceSmart in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Scotiabank reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating on shares of PriceSmart in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. BidaskClub raised PriceSmart from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Ifs Securities initiated coverage on PriceSmart in a research report on Monday, September 25th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $85.00 target price for the company. Finally, Howard Weil downgraded PriceSmart from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $91.75.

PriceSmart (NASDAQ PSMT) traded up $0.70 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $83.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 201,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 249,889. PriceSmart has a 1 year low of $78.00 and a 1 year high of $94.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a current ratio of 1.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,523.49, a P/E ratio of 28.62 and a beta of 1.31.

PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by ($0.08). PriceSmart had a net margin of 2.92% and a return on equity of 12.61%. The firm had revenue of $767.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $764.67 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.82 EPS. PriceSmart’s revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that PriceSmart will post 3.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP John D. Hildebrandt sold 1,614 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.47, for a total value of $134,720.58. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 17,237 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,438,772.39. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Chong Jesus Von sold 620 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.28, for a total value of $49,773.60. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,167,640.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,997 shares of company stock valued at $3,683,782 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 28.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in PriceSmart by 1.9% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 654,058 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,374,000 after purchasing an additional 12,039 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. boosted its holdings in PriceSmart by 48.8% in the third quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 302,536 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,001,000 after purchasing an additional 99,167 shares during the last quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in PriceSmart by 3.6% in the third quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 133,225 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,890,000 after purchasing an additional 4,652 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in PriceSmart by 6.0% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 149,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,314,000 after purchasing an additional 8,381 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in PriceSmart by 3.5% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 282,737 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,235,000 after purchasing an additional 9,433 shares during the last quarter. 72.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About PriceSmart

PriceSmart, Inc, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the international operation of membership shopping in warehouse clubs. In addition, the Company operates distribution centers and offices in the United States. The Company’s segments include the United States, Central America, the Caribbean and Colombia.

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