Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) Short Interest Down 8.2% in October

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Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,520,000 shares, a decrease of 8.2% from the September 30th total of 10,370,000 shares. Currently, 12.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,160,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 8.2 days.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on WSM shares. Wedbush set a $63.00 price target on Williams-Sonoma and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Telsey Advisory Group increased their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $62.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Raymond James reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. UBS Group increased their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Finally, Citigroup set a $70.00 price target on Williams-Sonoma and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Williams-Sonoma presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.85.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma stock traded up $0.40 on Friday, hitting $72.86. 959,602 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 971,019. Williams-Sonoma has a one year low of $45.01 and a one year high of $73.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 1.31 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The company has a fifty day moving average of $68.26 and a two-hundred day moving average of $63.73. The company has a market capitalization of $5.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.89.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 28th. The specialty retailer reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.04. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 33.89% and a net margin of 6.07%. The company had revenue of $1.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Williams-Sonoma will post 4.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 29th. Investors of record on Friday, October 25th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 24th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.64%. Williams-Sonoma’s payout ratio is 43.05%.

In other Williams-Sonoma news, insider Alex Bellos sold 4,820 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.25, for a total value of $314,505.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 8,177 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $533,549.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Laura Alber sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.57, for a total value of $2,469,950.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 411,861 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,065,030.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.87% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Psagot Investment House Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 2nd quarter valued at about $25,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 68.6% during the 3rd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 499 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $33,000 after purchasing an additional 203 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC boosted its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 174.2% during the 3rd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 532 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 338 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 2nd quarter valued at about $43,000. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 1st quarter valued at about $56,000.

Williams-Sonoma Company Profile

Williams-Sonoma, Inc operates as a multi-channel specialty retailer of various products for home. It operates through two segments, E-commerce and Retail. The company offers cooking, dining, and entertaining products, including cookware, tools, electrics, cutlery, tabletop and bar, outdoor, furniture, and a library of cookbooks under the Williams Sonoma brand, as well as home furnishings and decorative accessories under the Williams Sonoma Home brand; and furniture, bedding, bathroom accessories, rugs, curtains, lighting, tabletop, outdoor, and decorative accessories under the Pottery Barn brand.

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