Ryder System (R) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Ryder System (NYSE:R) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ryder have outperformed the industry it belongs to in the last six months. The stock gained 18.2%, whille the industry appreciated 12.6%. We are encouraged by the company's efforts to reward its shareholders through dividend payments. In 2017, Ryder System hiked its quarterly cash dividend by 2 cents to 46 cents per share. The company's efforts to grow its lease fleet pleases us. Its strong customer base is also a positive. However, a weak rental demand  market has been hurting the company for quite some time. The company's high debt levels ansd escalating operating expenses are concerning as well. The company expects fourth quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share in the band of $1.31 to $1.41, much below the fourth quarter 2016 figure. Moreover, earnings per share for full-year 2017 are expected to contract 16.8% on a year-over-year basis due to the headwinds.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $98.00 target price (up from $84.00) on shares of Ryder System in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. KeyCorp upgraded shares of Ryder System from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. ValuEngine cut shares of Ryder System from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Aegis reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 target price (up from $84.00) on shares of Ryder System in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on shares of Ryder System from $69.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $85.00.

Ryder System (R) traded up $0.53 on Tuesday, reaching $87.48. 287,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 451,580. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,630.00, a P/E ratio of 23.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.51. Ryder System has a fifty-two week low of $62.52 and a fifty-two week high of $88.26.

Ryder System (NYSE:R) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The transportation company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.85 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.80 billion. Ryder System had a net margin of 2.75% and a return on equity of 10.72%. The company’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.67 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Ryder System will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ryder System announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that allows the company to repurchase 1,500,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the transportation company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Dennis C. Cooke sold 32,328 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.46, for a total transaction of $2,633,438.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Robert D. Fatovic sold 17,755 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.44, for a total transaction of $1,463,722.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 63,633 shares of company stock valued at $5,174,795 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.95% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Ryder System by 41.7% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,010,932 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $360,685,000 after acquiring an additional 1,475,138 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ryder System during the third quarter valued at about $47,625,000. Impala Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ryder System during the third quarter valued at about $23,404,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. increased its position in shares of Ryder System by 208.0% during the third quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 356,907 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $30,175,000 after acquiring an additional 241,018 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in shares of Ryder System by 22.6% during the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,073,478 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $90,182,000 after acquiring an additional 198,098 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.35% of the company’s stock.

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About Ryder System

Ryder System, Inc is engaged in offering transportation and supply chain management solutions. The Company operates through three segments: Fleet Management Solutions (FMS), which provides leasing, commercial rental, contract maintenance, and contract-related maintenance of trucks, tractors and trailers to customers principally in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; Dedicated Transportation Solutions (DTS), which provides vehicles and drivers as part of a dedicated transportation solution in the United States, and Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), which provides supply chain solutions, including distribution and transportation services in North America and Asia.

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