Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, shares of Universal Forest Products have outperformed the industry. We believe that strengthening demand in the U.S. construction market, addition of customers, new product launches and synergistic benefits from acquired assets will bode well for the company in the long run. Also, returning value to shareholders remains a priority. In October, a 13.3% increase in semi-annual dividend rate was declared while it paid stock dividend in November. However, the company is exposed to risks arising from higher costs and expenses and lumber market volatility. Also, headwinds like adverse foreign currency movements, geopolitical issues and stiff competition might prove detrimental to its profitability in the quarters ahead. Earnings estimates on the stock remained stable for both 2017 and 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on UFPI. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Universal Forest Products in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $36.67 target price for the company. BidaskClub cut shares of Universal Forest Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.17.

Shares of Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) traded up $0.51 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $38.46. 167,508 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 235,035. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,352.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.65, a PEG ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.84. The company has a current ratio of 2.62, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15. Universal Forest Products has a fifty-two week low of $25.93 and a fifty-two week high of $39.58.

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The construction company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.03. Universal Forest Products had a net margin of 2.85% and a return on equity of 12.05%. The company had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $984.99 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.45 earnings per share. Universal Forest Products’s revenue was up 27.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Universal Forest Products will post 1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Matthew J. Missad sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.19, for a total transaction of $743,800.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 201,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,502,413.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Robert D. Coleman sold 4,100 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total transaction of $456,781.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 1,680 shares in the company, valued at $187,168.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 38,899 shares of company stock worth $2,159,694 over the last quarter. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in UFPI. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 393.8% in the 3rd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,195 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 953 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Universal Forest Products by 77.6% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 1,598 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 698 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Universal Forest Products by 68.6% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 1,652 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 672 shares in the last quarter. Optimum Investment Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Universal Forest Products in the 2nd quarter valued at $210,000. Finally, Verity Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Universal Forest Products in the 3rd quarter valued at $219,000. 26.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Universal Forest Products Company Profile

Universal Forest Products, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, supplies wood, wood composite and other products to three primary markets, such as retail, construction and industrial. Its segments include North, South, West, Alternative Materials, International, idX Holdings, Inc (idX) and Corporate divisions.

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