Is STERIS plc (NYSE: STE) Back In The Buying Zone?

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The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in STERIS plc (NYSE:STE). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 1.01% to 9.32 million shares with purchase of 93196.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.99% valued currently at $1.55 billion. In addition, WCM Investment Management LLC raised its holdings by 2.74 million to 5.08 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 2.33% or 83765.0 shares – to 3.67 million shares.

With over 0.5 million STERIS plc (STE) shares trading Wednesday and a closing price of $150.82 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $75.77 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -1.71% and its price on 07/08/20 lost nearly -0.63%. Currently, there are 84.89M common shares owned by the public and among those 84.49M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 6 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for STE have a consensus price objective of $175.00. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $180.00 and a low of $170.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the STERIS plc stock is 2.40 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 13.82% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 11.28% over that period. But an upside of 16.21% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $175.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 83 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 28 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 260,916 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 55 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 286,073 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in STERIS plc are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Janus Henderson Enterprise Fund, and WCM Focused International Growth. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 2.44 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $404.51 million. The company sold 15040.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.88% of the shares outstanding. Janus Henderson Enterprise Fund has total holdings of 2.36 million shares valued at over $390.88 million and representing 2.78% of the shares outstanding. WCM Focused International Growth bought 2.22 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.22 million shares at a value of $367.67 million. WCM Focused International Growth now owns shares totaling to 2.61% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of STERIS plc (NYSE: STE) opened at $152.40, up $0.62 from a prior closing price of $151.78. However, the script later closed the day at $150.82, down -0.63%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -1.71% and 1.38% over the past three months. STE shares are trading -1.05% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -1.10% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $105.69 and touched a high of $168.98 over the same period. Currently, 0.5 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 623.14K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -1.52%, -1.74%, and 0.95% respectively.

Institutional ownership of STERIS plc (NYSE: STE) shares accounts for 91.80% of the company’s 84.89M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 37.68%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 53.31% and 0.67% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $12.83B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.77. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 31.69, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $4.76. The company has a PEG of 3.17 and a Quick Ratio of 1.90 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.34. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.06% over the week and 2.53% over the month.

Analysts forecast that STERIS plc (STE) will achieve an EPS of $0.96 for the current quarter, $1.21 for the next quarter and $6.35 for 2022. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.85 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.03. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.23 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 33.80%, and 21.20% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 10.00% over the next five years, compared to 16.20% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 6 brokerage firm advisors rate STERIS plc (STE) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.40. Specifically, 2 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 4 of the 6 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the STE, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Needham stated their Hold rating for the stock in a research note on June 09, 2020. KeyBanc Capital Markets coverage for the STERIS plc (STE) stock in a research note released on July 10, 2019 offered a Sector Weight rating with a price target of. Raymond James was of a view on January 03, 2018 that the stock is Mkt Perform, while Wellington Shields gave the stock Hold rating on June 05, 2017. KeyBanc Capital Mkts on their part issued Overweight rating on May 03, 2017.

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