DST Systems, Inc. (NYSE:DST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $66.00 price target on the technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.41% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “DST Systems is one of the leading providers of sophisticated information processing software and systems to the financial services industry. We opine that DST Systems’ business volume and massive scale of operation in Financial Services will attract new customers. Moreover, we expect steady contributions from acquisitions to support revenue growth. Continued share buybacks and dividend payments are the other encouraging factors. Through dividend payouts, companies bolster investor confidence, persuading them to either buy or hold the scrip. However, persistent decline in registered accounts, ongoing consolidation in the U.S. financial services market, high debt burden and stiff competition may put its fundamentals under pressure. Notably, the stock has underperformed the broader market over the past one year.”

Separately, ValuEngine raised shares of DST Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th.

Shares of DST Systems (DST) traded up 1.038% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $59.855. 175,224 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $60.77 and its 200-day moving average is $58.35. The stock has a market cap of $3.70 billion, a PE ratio of 6.364 and a beta of 1.32. DST Systems has a 1-year low of $47.26 and a 1-year high of $122.11.

DST Systems (NYSE:DST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The technology company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $379.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $368.80 million. DST Systems had a net margin of 40.00% and a return on equity of 17.85%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. Analysts predict that DST Systems will post $3.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 9th. Investors of record on Friday, May 26th were issued a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 24th. This is a boost from DST Systems’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.43%. DST Systems’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.42%.

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In related news, VP Jonathan J. Boehm sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total value of $625,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 47,692 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,961,500. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen C. Hooley sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.23, for a total transaction of $1,252,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,703 shares in the company, valued at $8,102,756.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders purchased 489 shares of company stock worth $59,738 and sold 25,000 shares worth $3,098,500. Corporate insiders own 1.82% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its stake in DST Systems by 0.6% in the first quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,424 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in DST Systems during the first quarter valued at about $209,000. Two Sigma Securities LLC bought a new stake in DST Systems during the first quarter valued at about $228,000. Ellington Management Group LLC bought a new stake in DST Systems during the fourth quarter valued at about $236,000. Finally, World Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in DST Systems by 13.6% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 2,262 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 270 shares in the last quarter. 43.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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 data management, business processing and customer communications solutions to clients within the asset management, brokerage, retirement and healthcare markets.

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