Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of The Providence Service Co. (NASDAQ:PRSC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $51.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Providence Service Corporation provides human services and non-emergency transportation (NET) management services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families. The Company focuses on providing its social services in the client’s home or in community-based settings. It provides its NET management services through local transportation providers. The company’s services are reimbursed by government programs such as welfare, juvenile justice, Medicaid or corrections. Providence Service Corporation is based in Tucson, Arizona. “

Separately, Avondale Partners lowered The Providence Service from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 31st.

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The Providence Service (NASDAQ:PRSC) opened at 44.39 on Wednesday. The Providence Service has a 12 month low of $34.88 and a 12 month high of $53.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $599.26 million, a PE ratio of 8.76 and a beta of 0.97. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $41.53 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.68.

The Providence Service (NASDAQ:PRSC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 9th. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $386 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $398.67 million. The Providence Service had a return on equity of 11.59% and a net margin of 3.90%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.48 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that The Providence Service will post $1.57 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Richard A. Kerley sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.79, for a total transaction of $179,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 36,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,641,643.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 14.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its position in The Providence Service by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 6,520 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,000 after buying an additional 180 shares during the period. Cigna Investments Inc. New acquired a new position in The Providence Service during the fourth quarter valued at $221,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC acquired a new position in The Providence Service during the fourth quarter valued at $1,853,000. Two Sigma Investments LP raised its position in The Providence Service by 1,348.8% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 72,238 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,749,000 after buying an additional 67,252 shares during the period. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP raised its position in The Providence Service by 13.8% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 31,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,212,000 after buying an additional 3,857 shares during the period. 95.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The Providence Service Company Profile

The Providence Service Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides critical healthcare and workforce development services. It operates in over two industry sectors, including the United States healthcare and global workforce development, through its three operating segments: Non-Emergency Transportation Services (NET Services), Workforce Development Services (WD Services) and Health Assessment Services (HA Services).

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