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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, November 1st. They currently have $90.00 target price on the home improvement retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Although, Lowe’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past three months owing to lower-than-expected results in second-quarter fiscal 2017, its efforts towards increasing pro-customers base might help drive the stock going forward. Moreover, both sales and earnings grew year over year during the quarter. Comparable sales also showed considerable improvement. Further, improving job scenario, housing market recovery, merchandising initiatives and post hurricane construction activities along with efforts to enhance omni-channel capabilities bode well. Management expects sales to increase 5% with comparable sales growth of 3.5% during fiscal 2017 but took a conservative stance when it comes to earnings per share and operating margin guidance. We note estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on LOW. Robert W. Baird set a $87.00 price objective on Lowe’s Companies and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $81.00 price objective on Lowe’s Companies and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and set a $90.00 price target (up from $85.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Gordon Haskett started coverage on Lowe’s Companies in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. They set an accumulate rating and a $88.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Friday, September 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Lowe’s Companies currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $85.62.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) opened at $77.49 on Wednesday. Lowe’s Companies has a 12 month low of $65.12 and a 12 month high of $86.25. The company has a quick ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.85. The company has a market capitalization of $64,859.13, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.85, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.13.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.62 by ($0.05). Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 4.51% and a return on equity of 62.02%. The business had revenue of $19.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.58 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.37 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies will post 4.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.12%. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 46.20%.

In other Lowe’s Companies news, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of Lowe’s Companies stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total value of $163,685.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $655,368. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Matthew V. Hollifield sold 7,853 shares of Lowe’s Companies stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.30, for a total transaction of $614,889.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 30,750 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,407,725. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 64,769,014 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,021,542,000 after buying an additional 897,911 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% during 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. FMR LLC grew its position in Lowe’s Companies by 62.6% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 9,694,439 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $751,610,000 after buying an additional 3,732,153 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in Lowe’s Companies by 0.7% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 9,281,474 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $719,560,000 after buying an additional 64,780 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 8.2% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 8,848,938 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $726,481,000 after purchasing an additional 671,581 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.35% of the company’s stock.

Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a 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.

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

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