Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Ralph Lauren (RL) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ralph Lauren surpassed the industry in the past year backed by a robust surprise history. Second-quarter fiscal 2019 marked its 15th straight earnings beat driven by significant progress on the Next Great Chapter strategic growth plan. Moreover, sales topped estimates for the third consecutive quarter driven by double-digit top-line growth in Asia and sequential improvements in North America and Europe. Management remains confident of its performance, based on efforts to focus on consumer demands; elevate and energize brands; and balance growth and productivity. Despite improvements, the North America segment continues to suffer due to soft in-store traffic and a challenging wholesale business. The company projects challenging revenues for the North America wholesale business in second-half fiscal 2019 due to the timing of off-price shipments. Additionally, currency headwinds are likely to impact revenue growth throughout fiscal 2019.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. UBS Group raised Ralph Lauren from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their target price on Ralph Lauren from $130.00 to $125.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $106.00 target price on Ralph Lauren and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, December 31st. Citigroup reduced their target price on Ralph Lauren from $139.00 to $126.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Monday, December 3rd. Finally, Nomura set a $125.00 target price on Ralph Lauren and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $134.41.

Ralph Lauren stock opened at $105.43 on Tuesday. Ralph Lauren has a one year low of $95.63 and a one year high of $147.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 2.17 and a current ratio of 2.98. The firm has a market cap of $8.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 0.63.

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The textile maker reported $2.26 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.16 by $0.10. Ralph Lauren had a return on equity of 16.19% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm had revenue of $1.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.99 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Ralph Lauren will post 6.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 11th. Investors of record on Friday, December 28th were issued a dividend of $0.625 per share. This represents a $2.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 27th. Ralph Lauren’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.46%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its holdings in shares of Ralph Lauren by 95.4% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 149,191 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $18,938,000 after acquiring an additional 72,837 shares in the last quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division boosted its holdings in shares of Ralph Lauren by 16.2% during the 3rd quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 7,102 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $977,000 after acquiring an additional 992 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 during the 2nd quarter valued at $6,035,000. Unigestion Holding SA boosted its holdings in shares of Ralph Lauren by 36.5% during the 3rd quarter. Unigestion Holding SA now owns 62,136 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $8,547,000 after acquiring an additional 16,621 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AMP Capital Investors Ltd boosted its holdings in shares of Ralph Lauren by 106.3% during the 2nd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 72,099 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $9,065,000 after acquiring an additional 37,148 shares in the last quarter. 69.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ralph Lauren Company Profile

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

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