Advisors Capital Management LLC Raises Stake in Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM)

Advisors Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) by 13.6% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 215,238 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 25,730 shares during the quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC owned about 0.26% of Williams-Sonoma worth $11,356,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of WSM. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma in the fourth quarter worth about $49,000,000. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 124.1% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,040,700 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $44,807,000 after purchasing an additional 576,300 shares during the last quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 339.3% in the fourth quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC now owns 332,624 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $17,197,000 after purchasing an additional 256,905 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 63.7% in the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 469,700 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $24,283,000 after purchasing an additional 182,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS increased its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 50.5% in the fourth quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS now owns 532,120 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $27,511,000 after purchasing an additional 178,600 shares during the last quarter.

In other Williams-Sonoma news, insider Janet Hayes sold 9,034 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.66, for a total transaction of $466,696.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 38,563 shares in the company, valued at $1,992,164.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Laura Alber sold 97,965 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.21, for a total value of $5,310,682.65. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 264,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,345,104.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.87% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Williams-Sonoma from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. ValuEngine cut Williams-Sonoma from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $48.00 target price on Williams-Sonoma and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Wolfe Research lifted their target price on Williams-Sonoma from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “peer perform” rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.21.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma opened at $48.06 on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has a 1 year low of $42.68 and a 1 year high of $56.38. The company has a market cap of $4.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The specialty retailer reported $1.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.07. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 26.06% and a net margin of 4.90%. The business had revenue of $1.68 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.65 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.55 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Williams-Sonoma, Inc. will post 4.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Williams-Sonoma declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, March 14th that allows the company to buyback $286.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the specialty retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 27th will be given a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.58%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 26th. This is a positive change from Williams-Sonoma’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Williams-Sonoma’s payout ratio is 47.65%.

Williams-Sonoma 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM)

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