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Equities research analysts at Macquarie began coverage on shares of Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) in a research note issued to investors on Friday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price target on the stock. Macquarie’s target price indicates a potential upside of 4.82% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “Casey’s General Stores is a well-run Midwestern chain of convenience stores that operates its own logistics network for fuel and merchandise and has created a brand identity through fresh food offerings with Pizza. The company has considerable store remodelling opportunity within its current core markets around Iowa, but a planned expansion into new territory in the Southeast may create operational volatility and headwinds to operating profit growth, as the company is building a new distribution network. We rate the stock Neutral with a US$70.00 target price.”

Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) traded down 1.77% on Friday, hitting $66.78. The stock had a trading volume of 251,516 shares. Casey’s General Stores has a one year low of $52.84 and a one year high of $77.58. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $67.32 and a 200-day moving average of $70.5. The company has a market cap of $2.570 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.40. Casey’s General Stores also saw a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,618,323 shares, a growth of 43.2% from the January 15th total of 1,129,866 shares. Approximately 4.2% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 380,101 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.3 days.

Casey’s General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) last released its earnings data on Monday, December 9th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. Casey’s General Stores’s revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Casey’s General Stores will post $3.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Raymond James upgraded shares of Casey’s General Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 16th. They now have a $77.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at RBC Capital raised their price target on shares of Casey’s General Stores from $75.00 to $78.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 10th. They now have a “sector perform” rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $73.13.

Casey’s General Stores, Inc and its wholly owned subsidiaries (NASDAQ:CASY), operate convenience stores under the name Casey’s General Store in 11 Midwestern states, primarily Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois.

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