Hill-Rom Holdings Inc (NYSE:HRC) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc (NYSE:HRC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday, July 11th.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Hill-Rom is trading above the broader Medical Product industry. Management is currently looking to gain traction in the untapped international market with its efficient international team and organizational realignment. The company also continues to grow on its strategy of product expansion and diversification with recent launch of its surgical beds. We are also looking forward to the company's plan to divest its non-profitable Volker business to focus more on its core arms. Geographically, over the recent past, Hill-Rom consistently posted strong growth in the U.S. and also delivered a solid gross margin. Management’s outlook for 2017 also raises optimism. However, the company has faced difficulties in the Asia-Pacific region of late. Also, with more than 30% sales generating outside, Hill-Rom faces hitch related to adverse currency fluctuations. The highly competitive market is a major concern.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on HRC. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on Hill-Rom Holdings from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Hill-Rom Holdings from $70.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, May 1st. ValuEngine raised Hill-Rom Holdings from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Cantor Fitzgerald assumed coverage on Hill-Rom Holdings in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. They set a neutral rating and a $86.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Needham & Company LLC assumed coverage on Hill-Rom Holdings in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. They set a buy rating and a $95.00 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Hill-Rom Holdings presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $88.17.

Shares of Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC) opened at 73.72 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $79.48 and its 200-day moving average is $72.76. Hill-Rom Holdings has a one year low of $50.50 and a one year high of $84.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.96 and a beta of 1.22.

Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The medical technology company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.01. Hill-Rom Holdings had a return on equity of 19.99% and a net margin of 4.27%. The firm had revenue of $689.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $695.50 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Hill-Rom Holdings will post $3.82 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.98%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Hill-Rom Holdings’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.62%.

In related news, SVP Andreas G. Frank sold 10,660 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.62, for a total value of $838,089.20. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 28,988 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,279,036.56. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Paul Sherwood Johnson sold 2,078 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.30, for a total value of $150,239.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HRC. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. bought a new position in Hill-Rom Holdings during the first quarter valued at approximately $9,524,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC raised its position in Hill-Rom Holdings by 25.8% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 52,379 shares of the medical technology company’s stock valued at $2,940,000 after buying an additional 10,738 shares during the period. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp raised its position in Hill-Rom Holdings by 5.0% in the first quarter. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 57,600 shares of the medical technology company’s stock valued at $4,067,000 after buying an additional 2,751 shares during the period. Highbridge Capital Management LLC raised its position in Hill-Rom Holdings by 92.9% in the fourth quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC now owns 422,467 shares of the medical technology company’s stock valued at $23,716,000 after buying an additional 203,502 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its position in Hill-Rom Holdings by 2.0% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 7,515 shares of the medical technology company’s stock valued at $531,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. 84.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Hill-Rom Holdings

Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc is a global medical technology company. The Company operates through four segments: North America Patient Support Systems, International Patient Support Systems, Front Line Care and Surgical Solutions. The Company’s products and services include Patient Support Systems, Front Line Care and Surgical Solutions.

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