Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ARAMARK Holdings Corporation offers food services, facilities management, uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities, school districts, stadiums and businesses. It operates primarily in three segments: Food and Support Services North America, Food and Support Services International and Uniform and Career Apparel segment. The company’s FSS North America and FSS International segment provides food, refreshment, specialized dietary and support services, including facility maintenance and housekeeping. Uniform segment provides rental, sale, cleaning, maintenance and delivery of personalized uniform and career apparel and other textile items. It operates primarily in North America, United Kingdom, Germany, Chile and Ireland. ARAMARK Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Citigroup started coverage on shares of Aramark in a research note on Friday, February 7th. They issued a sell rating and a $39.00 target price for the company. ValuEngine lowered shares of Aramark from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 3rd. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on shares of Aramark in a research note on Wednesday, November 27th. They issued a hold rating and a $49.00 target price for the company. Finally, Berenberg Bank lowered shares of Aramark from a buy rating to a hold rating and upped their target price for the stock from $37.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Friday, January 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Aramark currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.36.

Shares of ARMK traded up $0.81 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $42.48. The stock had a trading volume of 1,929,248 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,453,295. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.05. Aramark has a 52 week low of $25.49 and a 52 week high of $47.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $44.22 and a 200 day moving average of $42.54. The company has a market cap of $10.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.24, a P/E/G ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 0.87.

Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 4th. The company reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.07. Aramark had a net margin of 2.12% and a return on equity of 16.88%. The business had revenue of $4.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.30 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.63 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Aramark will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 13th will be paid a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 12th. Aramark’s payout ratio is presently 19.64%.

In other news, EVP Lynn Mckee sold 225,340 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.11, for a total transaction of $9,939,747.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 432,955 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,097,645.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO John J. Zillmer acquired 35,000 shares of Aramark stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 21st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $42.68 per share, with a total value of $1,493,800.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 201,030 shares in the company, valued at $8,579,960.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 10.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ARMK. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aramark during the 4th quarter worth about $76,000. AdvisorNet Financial Inc boosted its stake in shares of Aramark by 18.1% during the 3rd quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 1,807 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,000 after buying an additional 277 shares during the last quarter. Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new position in shares of Aramark during the 3rd quarter worth about $117,000. Portland Hill Asset Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Aramark during the 4th quarter worth about $124,000. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aramark during the 3rd quarter worth about $127,000. Institutional investors own 99.09% of the company’s stock.

Aramark Company Profile

Aramark provides food, facilities management, and uniform services to education, healthcare, business and industry, sports, leisure, and corrections clients in North America and internationally. It operates in three segments: Food and Support Services United States, Food and Support Services International, and Uniform and Career Apparel.

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