DST Systems Inc. (NYSE:DST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “DST Systems is one of the leading global providers of sophisticated information processing software and systems to the financial services industry, primarily mutual funds and investment managers. Off late, estimates for the company have been stable. We opine that DST Systems’ business volume and massive scale of operation in Financial Services will attract new customers. We also expect steady contributions from acquisitions to support revenue growth. Continued share buybacks and dividend payments should provide further tailwinds. Nonetheless, persistent decline in registered accounts, ongoing consolidation in the U.S. financial services market and stiff competition may put its fundamentals under pressure.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley started coverage on DST Systems in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $128.00 price objective on the stock. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $132.00 price objective on shares of DST Systems in a research note on Monday, June 27th.

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DST Systems (NYSE:DST) traded up 0.32% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $118.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 86,282 shares. DST Systems has a 1-year low of $97.32 and a 1-year high of $128.66. The company has a market capitalization of $3.88 billion, a PE ratio of 16.28 and a beta of 1.24. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $121.15 and a 200-day moving average price of $117.75.

DST Systems (NYSE:DST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.08. The company earned $526.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $545.57 million. DST Systems had a return on equity of 21.20% and a net margin of 9.90%. The business’s revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.39 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that DST Systems will post $5.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Friday, August 26th were issued a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 24th. DST Systems’s payout ratio is 18.08%.

In related news, insider Vercie L. Lark sold 15,210 shares of DST Systems stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.34, for a total value of $1,830,371.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,600 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,562,064. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Gregg Wm Givens sold 10,000 shares of DST Systems stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.52, for a total value of $1,215,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 63,385 shares in the company, valued at $7,702,545.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.83% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DST. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in DST Systems during the fourth quarter worth about $46,778,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in DST Systems during the first quarter worth about $26,343,000. Scopia Capital Management LP boosted its stake in DST Systems by 17.5% in the first quarter. Scopia Capital Management LP now owns 1,496,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,778,000 after buying an additional 223,065 shares during the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P boosted its stake in DST Systems by 89.8% in the second quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 324,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $37,799,000 after buying an additional 153,623 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in DST Systems during the second quarter worth about $16,891,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.47% of the company’s stock.

DST Systems Company Profile

DST Systems, Inc (DST) is a provider of technology-based information processing and servicing solutions. The Company offers its solutions through unified data management, business processing and customer communications solutions to clients within the asset management, brokerage, retirement and healthcare markets.

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