Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PriceSmart have underperformed the industry in the past three months. The company posted a negative earnings surprise of 11.6% in third-quarter fiscal 2018. This was the fourth time in the trailing five quarters that this operator of membership warehouse clubs has missed expectations. We also note that the bottom-line has been declining for quite some time now, in spite of increase in the top line. Certainly, the company’s strategy to sell limited products at lower prices has helped it to generate member loyalty and higher sales. Comps also improved at a decent pace during the quarter, however, the metric inched up just 0.2% in the month of July. Further, contraction in operating margin on account of higher SG&A expenses also raises concern. Increase in SG&A expenses may be attributed to Aeropost acquisition and the opening of the new clubs.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of PriceSmart from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. TheStreet downgraded shares of PriceSmart from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Scotiabank set a $86.00 target price on shares of PriceSmart and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of PriceSmart from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, May 26th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. PriceSmart currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $91.50.

NASDAQ:PSMT opened at $87.80 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $2.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.46 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 0.49. PriceSmart has a fifty-two week low of $77.30 and a fifty-two week high of $94.45.

PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 5th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $782.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $787.19 million. PriceSmart had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 12.01%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.62 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that PriceSmart will post 3.01 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Robert E. Price sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.55, for a total transaction of $895,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 80 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,164. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 60,000 shares of company stock valued at $5,072,600. Insiders own 28.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. EdgePoint Investment Group Inc. grew its position in shares of PriceSmart by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. EdgePoint Investment Group Inc. now owns 2,276,346 shares of the company’s stock worth $206,009,000 after buying an additional 20,058 shares during the period. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of PriceSmart by 9.4% during the 1st quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 1,739,639 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,347,000 after buying an additional 149,580 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of PriceSmart by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,476,765 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,648,000 after buying an additional 114,121 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of PriceSmart by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,337,985 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,088,000 after buying an additional 76,580 shares during the period. Finally, Baillie Gifford & Co. grew its position in shares of PriceSmart by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 1,243,380 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,526,000 after buying an additional 67,169 shares during the period. 77.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

PriceSmart Company Profile

PriceSmart, Inc owns and operates the U.S.-style membership shopping warehouse clubs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The company's warehouse clubs offer brand name and private label consumer goods to individuals and businesses. As of May 7, 2017, it operated 41 warehouse clubs comprising 7 each in Colombia and Costa Rica; 5 in Panama; 4 each in Trinidad and Dominican Republic; 3 each in Guatemala and Honduras; 2 each in El Salvador and Nicaragua; and 1 each in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, and the United States Virgin Islands.

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