StepStone Group (NASDAQ:STEP) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of StepStone Group (NASDAQ:STEP) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “StepStone Group Inc. is a private markets investment firm focused on providing investment solutions and advisory and data services to its clients. StepStone Group Inc. is based in NEW YORK. “

Separately, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of StepStone Group from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Thursday, August 12th.

Shares of NASDAQ:STEP opened at $41.51 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $3.94 billion and a PE ratio of 13.30. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $45.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $38.83. StepStone Group has a fifty-two week low of $24.48 and a fifty-two week high of $49.72.

StepStone Group (NASDAQ:STEP) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 10th. The company reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $136.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $94.84 million. StepStone Group had a net margin of 9.01% and a return on equity of 18.57%. StepStone Group’s quarterly revenue was up 83.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.16 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that StepStone Group will post 1.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 31st were paid a $0.07 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 30th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.67%. StepStone Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.18%.

In other news, CFO Johnny D. Randel sold 15,412 shares of StepStone Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.75, for a total value of $643,451.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Johnny D. Randel sold 7,193 shares of StepStone Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.85, for a total transaction of $301,027.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 58,067 shares of company stock worth $2,451,056 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 35.34% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STEP. Shell Asset Management Co. purchased a new position in shares of StepStone Group in the second quarter worth approximately $60,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in shares of StepStone Group by 109.8% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $68,000 after acquiring an additional 998 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its position in shares of StepStone Group by 79.9% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,928 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Islay Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of StepStone Group in the second quarter worth approximately $112,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its holdings in shares of StepStone Group by 30.5% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 3,368 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,000 after purchasing an additional 788 shares during the period. 42.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About StepStone Group

StepStone Group Inc is an investment firm specializing in direct, fund of funds, secondary direct, and secondary indirect investments. For direct investment, it seeks to invest in venture debt, incubation, mezzanine, distressed/vulture, seed/startup, early venture, mid venture, late venture, emerging growth, later stage, turnaround, growth capital, industry consolidation, recapitalization, and buyout investments in mature and middle market companies.

Featured Article: How to calculate the annual rate of depreciation

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on StepStone Group (STEP)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for StepStone Group Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for StepStone Group and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.