Ralph Lauren (RL) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has $126.00 price target on the textile maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ralph Lauren outperformed the industry in the past three months backed by robust bottom-line performance in recent quarters. Notably, third-quarter fiscal 2018 marked the company’s 12th consecutive earnings beat while sales lagged estimates after a beat in the previous quarter. Additionally, the company’s Way Forward Plan is on track, and it remains keen on bolstering digital and international presence. Also, the company has been gaining from favorable geographic and channel mix shifts along with lower promotions and reduced product costs. Further, management adjusted fiscal 2018 outlook to account for the positive currency rates, which are likely to aid revenues and operating margins. However, its North America business continues to suffer due to distribution and brand exits, planned reduction in shipments and promotions to enhance the quality of sales, and lower customer demand.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Ralph Lauren from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Bank of America downgraded Ralph Lauren from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $100.14 to $80.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Ralph Lauren in a research report on Monday, March 12th. They set an outperform rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $113.00 price target on shares of Ralph Lauren in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group increased their price target on Ralph Lauren from $109.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $97.76.

Shares of RL stock opened at $111.77 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $9,085.67, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.57, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a current ratio of 2.07, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09. Ralph Lauren has a 12-month low of $66.06 and a 12-month high of $119.33.

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The textile maker reported $2.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.87 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.63 billion. Ralph Lauren had a positive return on equity of 14.64% and a negative net margin of 1.33%. Ralph Lauren’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.86 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Ralph Lauren will post 5.98 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. Ralph Lauren’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.03%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Handelsbanken Fonder AB lifted its position in shares of Ralph Lauren by 71.4% in the fourth quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 6,000 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $622,000 after acquiring an additional 2,500 shares in the last quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Ralph Lauren in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $6,501,000. Disciplined Growth Investors Inc. MN increased its holdings in shares of Ralph Lauren by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Disciplined Growth Investors Inc. MN now owns 404,078 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $41,899,000 after purchasing an additional 1,068 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ralph Lauren in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $841,000. Finally, MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ralph Lauren in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,777,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.64% of the company’s stock.

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About Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corporation designs, markets, and distributes lifestyle products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: North America, Europe, and Asia. It offers apparel, including a range of men's, women's, and children's clothing; accessories, which comprise footwear, eyewear, watches, fine jewelry, hats, belts, and leather goods, such as handbags and luggage; home products consisting of bedding and bath products, furniture, fabrics and wallpapers, lightings, paints, tabletops, and giftware; and fragrances.

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