Lowe’s Companies Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:LOW)

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) saw some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Traders acquired 128,483 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 573% compared to the typical volume of 19,079 call options.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pacifica Partners Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Lowe’s Companies in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Bell Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new position in shares of Lowe’s Companies in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Destiny Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Lowe’s Companies in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Moors & Cabot Inc. lifted its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 80.7% in the 3rd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 32,000 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 14,288 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Herold Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Lowe’s Companies in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $39,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.17% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies stock traded down $7.30 during trading on Friday, reaching $243.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,257,406 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,934,778. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $249.67 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $220.72. The company has a current ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 49.23. Lowe’s Companies has a one year low of $150.84 and a one year high of $263.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $163.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.31.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 17th. The home improvement retailer reported $2.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.35 by $0.38. The firm had revenue of $22.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.06 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 25,100.30% and a net margin of 8.63%. The company’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.98 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Lowe’s Companies will post 11.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Lowe’s Companies declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, December 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $13.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the home improvement retailer to purchase up to 7.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 19th will be given a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 18th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.31%. Lowe’s Companies’s payout ratio is currently 27.80%.

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. Truist upped their price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $217.00 to $284.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 18th. Truist Securities increased their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $217.00 to $284.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 18th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $260.00 to $265.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 16th. Evercore ISI raised shares of Lowe’s Companies from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $280.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $280.00 to $295.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, December 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $258.71.

About Lowe’s Companies

Lowe’s Cos., Inc engages in the retail sale of home improvement products. The firm offers products for maintenance, repair, remodelling, home decorating and property maintenance. It also provides home improvement products in the following categories: appliances, bathroom, building supply, electrical, flooring, hardware, paint, kitchen, plumbing, lighting & fans, outdoor living, windows and doors.

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