Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $88.00 target price on the home improvement retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 14.27% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Although, Lowe’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past three months owing to lower-than-expected results in first-quarter fiscal 2017, its efforts towards increasing pro-customers base might help drive the stock going forward. Lowe’s recently completed the buyout of Maintenance Supply Headquarters, which will help strengthen relationship with pro customers. Further, we believe improving job scenario, gradual recovery in the housing market and merchandising initiatives along with efforts to provide better omni-channel customer experience bode well. Management expects sales to increase approximately 5% with comps growth of about 3.5% during fiscal 2017. However, Lowe’s fiscal 2017 earnings projections of approximately $4.30 per share, down from the previous estimate of $4.64 is a cause of worry for investors. Of late estimates have been stable ahead of the second-quarter earnings release.”

LOW has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $100.00 price objective on Lowe’s Companies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Wolfe Research reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $94.00 target price (down from $95.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Sunday, May 28th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “underperform” rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. BidaskClub raised shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $83.11 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.23.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE LOW) traded up 0.38% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $77.30. The stock had a trading volume of 406,458 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average of $76.72 and a 200-day moving average of $79.37. The stock has a market cap of $65.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.24 and a beta of 1.08. Lowe’s Companies has a 12-month low of $64.87 and a 12-month high of $86.25.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 24th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.03. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 4.22% and a return on equity of 56.78%. The company had revenue of $16.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.99 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. Lowe’s Companies’s revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Richard D. Maltsbarger sold 11,672 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total value of $936,094.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 37,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,024,823.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,377,883 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,045,875,000 after buying an additional 58,073,138 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 204.0% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,018,171 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $659,174,000 after buying an additional 5,380,759 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,250,843,000 after buying an additional 2,650,045 shares during the period. Glenview Capital Management LLC raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 33.8% in the first quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC now owns 5,452,659 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $448,263,000 after buying an additional 1,376,540 shares during the period. Finally, Scopus Asset Management L.P. raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 866.7% in the first quarter. Scopus Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,450,000 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $119,205,000 after buying an additional 1,300,000 shares during the period. 74.70% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Lowe’s Companies

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a home improvement retailer. The Company operates approximately 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores, representing approximately 200 million square feet of retail selling space. The Company operates approximately 1,800 stores located across over 50 states in the United States, including approximately 80 Orchard Supply Hardware (Orchard) stores in California and Oregon, as well as approximately 40 stores in Canada and over 10 stores in Mexico.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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