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UBS downgrades Rollins stock amid growth concerns

EditorEmilio Ghigini
Published 2024-04-15, 05:24 a/m

On Monday, Rollins Inc . (NYSE:ROL) stock, a prominent pest control company, experienced a shift in rating. UBS has downgraded Rollins from Buy to Neutral. The firm has also set a price target for Rollins shares at $49.00. The adjustment comes as UBS anticipates changes in the growth and margin outlook for the company, which could affect its market performance in the near term.

According to UBS, the downgrade to Neutral is based on the expectation that Rollins' growth outpacing its competitor Rentokil may decrease. While Rollins has recently seen an impressive growth rate approximately 600 basis points above Rentokil, this margin is projected to narrow to between 300 and 500 basis points in the upcoming quarters. This anticipated change has contributed to a more cautious stance on the stock.

Rollins has been notable for achieving record gross margins in 2023, but UBS suggests that future margin expansion may rely more heavily on managing selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses. This focus on SG&A leverage is seen as a key factor in sustaining the company's profitability moving forward.

Despite the downgrade, Rollins is recognized for its consistent performance, having generated double-digit compounding EBITDA growth. However, with the company's shares having risen over 20% in the last six months, UBS's estimates for Rollins' financial performance are now aligned with consensus estimates among analysts, indicating a more balanced risk-reward scenario.

UBS's revised outlook for Rollins reflects a cautious approach based on the anticipated narrowing of growth differentials with peers and the need for strategic expense management to maintain profit margins. As the market processes this new information, investors may adjust their expectations for Rollins' future stock performance.

InvestingPro Insights

As Rollins Inc. navigates the market with its recent stock rating adjustment by UBS, key metrics from InvestingPro provide a snapshot of the company's financial health. Rollins' dedication to shareholder returns is highlighted by a remarkable track record of raising its dividend for 21 consecutive years, showcasing a stable and investor-friendly policy. The company's gross profit margins remain impressive, standing at 52.17% over the last twelve months as of Q1 2023, which supports UBS's recognition of Rollins' ability to achieve record gross margins.

However, investors should note that Rollins is currently trading at a high earnings multiple, with a P/E ratio of 49.46 and an even higher adjusted P/E ratio of 50.02 for the same period. This valuation is further emphasized by a PEG ratio of 2.66, suggesting a premium price relative to near-term earnings growth. With a market capitalization of 21.49 billion USD, Rollins' financials and stock performance will be closely watched leading up to its next earnings date on April 24, 2024.

For those considering a deeper dive into Rollins' financials and stock potential, InvestingPro offers additional insights and metrics. There are 16 more InvestingPro Tips available that could provide further clarity on the company's financial position and market prospects. Interested investors can use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, enhancing their investment research with comprehensive data and analysis.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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