Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Henry Schein (NASDAQ:HSIC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “In the past six months, Henry Schein has outperformed its industry. All of the company's operating segments recorded year-over-year growth in the last reported quarter. Henry Schein's strong share gains in the North American markets raise optimism. Improvement in gross margin is also encouraging. We are looking forward to Henry Schein’s new exclusive distribution agreement with Sprig Oral Health Technologies Inc. Per the agreement, Henry Schein will distribute Sprig's products to help customers place crowns. Nonetheless, we are disappointed with the year-over-year deterioration in operating margin due to escalating expenses. We currently await the completion of the planned spin-off of the company’s global Animal Health business. The spin-off is expected to bring in major changes to Henry Schein’s overall operating results. Pricing pressure and tough competition are major woes.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on HSIC. BidaskClub upgraded Henry Schein from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 27th. Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Henry Schein from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Barrington Research lifted their target price on Henry Schein from $92.00 to $96.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Henry Schein in a research report on Saturday, October 20th. They set a hold rating and a $78.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded Henry Schein from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.93.

HSIC traded down $0.11 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $79.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 70,497 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,460,744. Henry Schein has a twelve month low of $62.56 and a twelve month high of $91.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 1.30. The firm has a market cap of $11.64 billion, a PE ratio of 22.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 0.96.

Henry Schein (NASDAQ:HSIC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.37 billion. Henry Schein had a return on equity of 20.40% and a net margin of 3.00%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Henry Schein will post 4.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Henry Schein announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, December 13th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 3.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Henry Schein news, SVP Michael S. Ettinger sold 7,425 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.36, for a total transaction of $626,373.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 72,143 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,085,983.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stanley M. Bergman sold 69,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.32, for a total value of $5,956,080.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 240,096 shares in the company, valued at $20,725,086.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 105,856 shares of company stock worth $9,222,275 over the last quarter. 1.15% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sheets Smith Wealth Management increased its stake in Henry Schein by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Sheets Smith Wealth Management now owns 79,010 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,204,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. JLB & Associates Inc. grew its stake in shares of Henry Schein by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. JLB & Associates Inc. now owns 57,301 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,499,000 after buying an additional 1,483 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its stake in shares of Henry Schein by 11.3% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 55,239 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,335,000 after buying an additional 5,617 shares during the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama grew its stake in shares of Henry Schein by 425.0% during the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 370,708 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,108,000 after buying an additional 300,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dorsey Wright & Associates bought a new position in shares of Henry Schein during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,583,000.

Henry Schein Company Profile

Henry Schein, Inc provides health care products and services to dental practitioners and laboratories, animal health clinics, physician practices, government, institutional health care clinics, and other alternate care clinics worldwide. It operates through two segments, Health Care Distribution, and Technology and Value-Added Services.

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