Zacks Investment Research Lowers StoneMor Partners (STON) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of StoneMor Partners (NYSE:STON) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “StoneMor Partners L.P., headquartered in Levittown, Pennsylvania, is an owner and operator of cemeteries and funeral homes in the United States, with 224 cemeteries and 57 funeral homes in 27 states and Puerto Rico. StoneMor is the only publicly traded deathcare company structured as a partnership. StoneMor’s cemetery products and services, which are sold on both a pre-need (before death) and at-need (at death) basis, include: burial lots, lawn and mausoleum crypts, burial vaults, caskets, memorials, and all services which provide for the installation of this merchandise. “

Separately, B. Riley dropped their price objective on StoneMor Partners from $11.00 to $7.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $7.13.

Shares of NYSE STON opened at $6.21 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 2.23, a quick ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24. StoneMor Partners has a fifty-two week low of $4.61 and a fifty-two week high of $10.15.

StoneMor Partners (NYSE:STON) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 26th. The company reported ($0.25) earnings per share for the quarter. The company had revenue of $84.03 million during the quarter. StoneMor Partners had a negative net margin of 10.42% and a negative return on equity of 22.16%. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.28) earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that StoneMor Partners will post -0.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other StoneMor Partners news, major shareholder Value Equity Holdings Oaktree purchased 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $5.12 per share, for a total transaction of $307,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Value Equity Fund Gp L. Oaktree purchased 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $5.40 per share, for a total transaction of $540,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired a total of 400,706 shares of company stock valued at $2,203,351 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 9.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oaktree Capital Management LP increased its stake in shares of StoneMor Partners by 145.9% in the 4th quarter. Oaktree Capital Management LP now owns 3,750,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,600,000 after purchasing an additional 2,225,000 shares during the last quarter. Arrow Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of StoneMor Partners by 42.9% in the 4th quarter. Arrow Investment Advisors LLC now owns 114,194 shares of the company’s stock valued at $749,000 after purchasing an additional 34,300 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of StoneMor Partners in the 4th quarter valued at $131,000. Benchmark Capital Advisors bought a new position in shares of StoneMor Partners in the 4th quarter valued at $115,000. Finally, Chessman Wealth Strategies RIA bought a new position in shares of StoneMor Partners in the 4th quarter valued at $118,000. Institutional investors own 41.59% of the company’s stock.

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StoneMor Partners Company Profile

StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates cemeteries and funeral homes in the United States. It operates through two segments, Cemetery Operations and Funeral Home Operations. The company's cemetery products and services include interment rights, such as burial lots, lawn crypts, mausoleum crypts, cremation niches, and perpetual care rights; merchandise comprising burial vaults, caskets, grave markers and grave marker bases, and memorials; and installation services for burial vaults, caskets, and other cemetery merchandise, as well as other service items.

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