PulteGroup (PHM) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PulteGroup have lost 31% so far this year. Earnings estimates for the third quarter and full year have remained stable over the past 30 days. Rising construction material prices have been putting up hurdles for homebuilders. On top of it, rising interest/mortgage rates add to the woes. Although strong economy along with labor market strength provide the basis for strong demand, its influence on the homebuilding industry is undeniable and uncertain. That said, PulteGroup continues to benefit from its land acquisition strategies. Prudent land investments, new value creation initiatives and solid cash position bode well. Although continued favorable trends in the economy and job growth are expected to more than offset the negative impact of modestly higher rates and rising material costs, we wait for better visibility.”

PHM has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of PulteGroup from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Bank of America set a $32.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of PulteGroup from an overweight rating to an underweight rating and cut their price target for the company from $37.50 to $28.00 in a research report on Friday, September 21st. BTIG Research lowered shares of PulteGroup from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on shares of PulteGroup from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $33.21.

NYSE PHM traded down $0.86 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $21.58. 5,636,873 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,639,549. The company has a quick ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. PulteGroup has a 12-month low of $21.43 and a 12-month high of $35.21. The firm has a market cap of $6.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.85, a PEG ratio of 0.35 and a beta of 1.03.

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The construction company reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.15. PulteGroup had a net margin of 7.92% and a return on equity of 19.95%. The business had revenue of $2.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.38 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 27.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that PulteGroup will post 3.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 18th were issued a dividend of $0.09 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 17th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.67%. PulteGroup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.44%.

In other news, Director Brian P. Anderson sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.96, for a total transaction of $144,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 101,235 shares in the company, valued at $2,931,765.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.86% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. lifted its holdings in PulteGroup by 20.7% in the first quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. now owns 10,438 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $308,000 after buying an additional 1,789 shares during the period. Mariner LLC lifted its holdings in PulteGroup by 26.3% in the first quarter. Mariner LLC now owns 9,173 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $270,000 after buying an additional 1,911 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its holdings in PulteGroup by 0.3% in the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 722,907 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $20,825,000 after buying an additional 2,030 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in PulteGroup by 5.0% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 44,844 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,321,000 after buying an additional 2,136 shares during the period. Finally, Rehmann Capital Advisory Group lifted its holdings in PulteGroup by 54.9% in the second quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 6,187 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 2,193 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 86.54% of the company’s stock.

About PulteGroup

PulteGroup, Inc, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the homebuilding business in the United States. The company is involved in the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes; and the construction of housing on such land. It offers various home designs, including single-family detached, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes under the Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods names.

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