Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Lowe’s shares have slid and underperformed the industry in the past six months. In fact, the stock came under pressure after it posted weaker-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2017 results. This was the second quarter in row wherein both the top and bottom lines fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Nevertheless, both sales and earnings grew year over year, albeit at a rate lower than the preceding quarter. However, comps showed considerable improvement. Further, improving job scenario, recovery in the housing market and merchandising initiatives along with efforts to enhance omni-channel capabilities bode well. Management continues to expect sales to increase 5% with comps growth of 3.5% during fiscal 2017. However, lower-than-expected second-quarter results and investment plans compelled Lowe’s to trim fiscal 2017 earnings view. Lowe’s investment in customer-facing hours in stores and promotions will hurt margins.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on LOW. Longbow Research reiterated a buy rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $75.00 target price (down from $89.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating and set a $80.00 target price (down from $83.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Wolfe Research reissued an outperform rating and issued a $94.00 price target (down from $95.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Sunday, May 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $89.00 to $82.00 in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $85.00.

Lowe’s Companies (LOW) traded up 0.55% on Monday, hitting $77.93. The stock had a trading volume of 927,922 shares. The company has a market cap of $65.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.13 and a beta of 1.07. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $75.88 and its 200-day moving average is $79.62. Lowe’s Companies has a 52-week low of $64.87 and a 52-week high of $86.25.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $19.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.58 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 62.02% and a net margin of 4.51%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.37 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.49 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 24th. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio is presently 46.20%.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LOW. Valicenti Advisory Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 5.1% during the 1st quarter. Valicenti Advisory Services Inc. now owns 53,675 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $4,413,000 after purchasing an additional 2,625 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,250,843,000 after purchasing an additional 2,650,045 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 11.8% during the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 105,471 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $8,177,000 after purchasing an additional 11,119 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,425,597 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $199,407,000 after purchasing an additional 60,109 shares during the period. Finally, Heritage Trust Co bought a new stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies during the 1st quarter valued at $789,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.32% of the company’s stock.

Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a FORTUNE home improvement company. The Company operates approximately 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores. The Company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling and decorating. The Company offers home improvement products in categories, including Lumber and Building Materials; Tools and Hardware; Appliances; Fashion Fixtures; Rough Plumbing and Electrical; Lawn and Garden; Seasonal and Outdoor Living; Paint; Flooring; Millwork, and Kitchens.

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

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