Masco (MAS) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Masco (NYSE:MAS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Masco have lost 27.1% so far this year. Also, earnings estimates remain stable for 2018 and 2019 over the past 60 days, limiting upside potential for the stock. Higher raw material costs and expenses related to new product launches pose a significant threat to the company's margins. Notably, Masco’s adjusted gross and operating margins contracted 250 bps and 150 bps, respectively, in the second quarter of 2018. Strategic growth investments, ERP costs and a lag in the price/cost led to the decline. Although increased repair and remodeling activity bode well for Masco, we wait for better visibility.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded Masco from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, July 28th. Citigroup raised their price objective on Masco from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Cfra restated a buy rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Masco in a research note on Sunday, August 5th. Evercore ISI upgraded Masco from an in-line rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. Finally, Bank of America set a $40.00 target price on Masco and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $45.44.

Shares of MAS traded down $0.08 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $30.92. The stock had a trading volume of 3,626,646 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,382,197. Masco has a 12 month low of $30.69 and a 12 month high of $46.44. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 23.57. The stock has a market cap of $9.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.94, a P/E/G ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 1.39.

Masco (NYSE:MAS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 31st. The construction company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.77 by ($0.02). Masco had a net margin of 7.41% and a return on equity of 490.27%. The company had revenue of $2.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.60 earnings per share. Masco’s revenue was up 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Masco will post 2.5 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 12th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 11th. This is a positive change from Masco’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.55%. Masco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.74%.

In related news, insider Joseph B. Gross sold 1,286 shares of Masco stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.91, for a total value of $51,324.26. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 48,740 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,945,213.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO John G. Sznewajs sold 96,869 shares of Masco stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.95, for a total value of $3,773,047.55. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 237,578 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,253,663.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Acropolis Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Masco in the 3rd quarter worth about $146,000. Kovack Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Masco in the 3rd quarter worth about $200,000. Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Masco in the 2nd quarter worth about $202,000. Atria Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Masco in the 3rd quarter worth about $207,000. Finally, Point72 Hong Kong Ltd increased its holdings in Masco by 8,377.3% in the 2nd quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 5,595 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $209,000 after acquiring an additional 5,529 shares during the last quarter. 89.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Masco

Masco Corporation designs, manufactures, and distributes home improvement and building products worldwide. Its Plumbing Products segment offers faucets, showerheads, handheld showers, valves, bath hardware and accessories, bathing units, shower enclosures, toilets, acrylic tubs, shower trays, spas products, exercise pools, brass and copper plumbing system components, and other non-decorative plumbing products.

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