Healthcare Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCSG) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors acquired 6,977 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,457% compared to the typical volume of 448 put options.

A number of research firms have recently commented on HCSG. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Healthcare Services Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. ValuEngine cut shares of Healthcare Services Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 22nd. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 target price (down previously from $40.00) on shares of Healthcare Services Group in a research note on Friday, July 12th. BidaskClub raised shares of Healthcare Services Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Benchmark reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Healthcare Services Group in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $39.29.

In other news, Director Robert L. Frome sold 8,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.06, for a total transaction of $204,510.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 9,907 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $238,362.42. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HCSG. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. grew its stake in Healthcare Services Group by 1,148.6% during the 2nd quarter. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. now owns 899 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 827 shares in the last quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp purchased a new stake in Healthcare Services Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $30,000. Huntington National Bank grew its stake in Healthcare Services Group by 88.8% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,210 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $37,000 after acquiring an additional 569 shares in the last quarter. Icon Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Healthcare Services Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $45,000. Finally, Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in Healthcare Services Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $71,000.

NASDAQ HCSG traded up $0.07 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $25.70. 1,383,619 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 934,672. Healthcare Services Group has a 52-week low of $21.16 and a 52-week high of $48.73. The company has a market capitalization of $1.90 billion, a PE ratio of 22.95 and a beta of 0.71. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $23.07 and its 200-day moving average is $30.35.

Healthcare Services Group (NASDAQ:HCSG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 23rd. The business services provider reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.35 by ($0.11). Healthcare Services Group had a net margin of 4.38% and a return on equity of 19.40%. The business had revenue of $462.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $477.68 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.35 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Healthcare Services Group will post 0.93 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Investors of record on Friday, August 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.199 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 22nd. This is a boost from Healthcare Services Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Healthcare Services Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.43%.

Healthcare Services Group Company Profile

Healthcare Services Group, Inc provides management, administrative, and operating services to the housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance, and dietary service departments of nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Housekeeping and Dietary.

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