Estee Lauder Companies (EL) Downgraded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. to “Neutral”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a report released on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $138.00 target price on the stock.

Several other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group set a $145.00 target price on shares of Estee Lauder Companies and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 29th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Estee Lauder Companies from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $159.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies boosted their target price on shares of Estee Lauder Companies from $149.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Monday, October 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank decreased their target price on shares of Estee Lauder Companies to $159.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $146.33.

EL traded down $1.76 on Friday, reaching $126.32. 3,714,532 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,970,880. Estee Lauder Companies has a 52-week low of $108.25 and a 52-week high of $158.80. The company has a market capitalization of $53.36 billion, a PE ratio of 28.01, a PEG ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a current ratio of 1.86.

Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 20th. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.05. Estee Lauder Companies had a net margin of 8.10% and a return on equity of 36.09%. The firm had revenue of $3.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.25 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.51 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 13.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Estee Lauder Companies will post 4.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 17th. Investors of record on Friday, August 31st were issued a dividend of $0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. Estee Lauder Companies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.70%.

In related news, Director Jane Lauder sold 36,334 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.23, for a total transaction of $4,840,778.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 45,037 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,000,279.51. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Fabrizio Freda sold 31,055 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.42, for a total transaction of $4,298,633.10. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 99,008 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,704,687.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 107,756 shares of company stock valued at $14,739,082. 16.13% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 1.5% in the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 497,731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,520,000 after buying an additional 7,296 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC raised its stake in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 116.5% in the 1st quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 9,364 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,402,000 after buying an additional 5,039 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 11.5% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 249,289 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,323,000 after buying an additional 25,621 shares in the last quarter. Natixis raised its stake in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 38.6% in the 1st quarter. Natixis now owns 51,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,661,000 after buying an additional 14,250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Element Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Estee Lauder Companies in the 1st quarter valued at $349,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.37% of the company’s stock.

About Estee Lauder Companies

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products. The company offers a range of skin care products, such as moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners, body care products, exfoliators, acne care products, facial masks, cleansing devices, and sun care products; and makeup products, including lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, foundations, eyeshadows, nail polishes, and powders, as well as related items, including compacts, brushes, and other makeup tools.

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