Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Lowe’s shares have slid and underperformed the industry in the past six months. In fact, the stock came under pressure after it posted lower-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2017 results. This was the second quarter in row wherein both the top and bottom lines fell short of the estimate. Nevertheless, both sales and earnings grew year over year, albeit at a rate lower than the preceding quarter. However, comps showed considerable improvement. We believe Lowe’s buyout of Maintenance Supply Headquarters will help strengthen relationship with pro customers. Further, improving job scenario, housing market recovery, merchandising initiatives and post hurricane construction activities along with efforts to enhance omni-channel capabilities bode well. Management expects sales to increase 5% with comps growth of 3.5% during fiscal 2017 but took a conservative stance when it comes to earnings per share and operating margin guidance.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corporation assumed coverage on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $83.00 target price (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 target price (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $80.00 target price (down previously from $83.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $88.00 to $81.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. Lowe’s Companies presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.00.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE LOW) traded down 0.0641% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $77.8601. 1,061,470 shares of the stock traded hands. Lowe’s Companies has a one year low of $64.87 and a one year high of $86.25. The company has a market cap of $64.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.1068 and a beta of 1.07. The company’s 50 day moving average is $76.25 and its 200-day moving average is $79.59. Lowe’s Companies also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors acquired 6,466 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 538% compared to the average volume of 1,014 put options.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $19.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.58 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 4.51% and a return on equity of 62.02%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.37 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total value of $163,685.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 8,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $655,368. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LOW. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,377,883 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,045,875,000 after buying an additional 58,073,138 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 204.0% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,018,171 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $659,174,000 after buying an additional 5,380,759 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 62.6% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 9,694,439 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $751,610,000 after buying an additional 3,732,153 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 1,457.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,787,825 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $293,669,000 after buying an additional 3,544,665 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,250,843,000 after buying an additional 2,650,045 shares during the last quarter. 74.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a FORTUNE home improvement company. The Company operates approximately 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores. The Company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling and decorating. The Company offers home improvement products in categories, including Lumber and Building Materials; Tools and Hardware; Appliances; Fashion Fixtures; Rough Plumbing and Electrical; Lawn and Garden; Seasonal and Outdoor Living; Paint; Flooring; Millwork, and Kitchens.

Analyst Recommendations for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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