Lamar Advertising Co. (NASDAQ:LAMR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Lamar’s current quarter funds from operations (FFO) per share estimate remained stable over the past 30 days. The company enjoys a diversified tenant base. Further, its impressive national footprint, solid growth opportunities in the outdoor advertising industry and healthy balance sheet bode well for the long term. Recent hike in quarterly dividend payout is also encouraging. However, increased capital expenditures and higher expenses related to the acquired outdoor advertising assets could reduce free cash flow and strain its margins. Further, stiff competition and any rise in the interest rate pose challenges for Lamar.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Loop Capital started coverage on shares of Lamar Advertising in a research note on Monday, September 12th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Gabelli downgraded shares of Lamar Advertising from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.38.

Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) opened at 63.63 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $6.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.95 and a beta of 1.79. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $62.65 and a 200-day moving average of $63.25. Lamar Advertising has a 52 week low of $49.73 and a 52 week high of $69.35.

Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 9th. The company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.01. Lamar Advertising had a net margin of 20.64% and a return on equity of 28.94%. The firm had revenue of $387.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $384.09 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Lamar Advertising will post $3.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.76 per share. This represents a $3.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.78%. This is an increase from Lamar Advertising’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.75. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Lamar Advertising’s dividend payout ratio is presently 99.67%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Williams Jones & Associates LLC increased its stake in shares of Lamar Advertising by 190.0% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 15,941 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,057,000 after buying an additional 10,444 shares during the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its position in Lamar Advertising by 0.5% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 14,231 shares of the company’s stock worth $944,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in Lamar Advertising during the second quarter worth approximately $2,492,000. Beacon Trust Co. bought a new position in Lamar Advertising during the second quarter worth approximately $223,000. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in Lamar Advertising by 15.8% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 68,797 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,561,000 after buying an additional 9,411 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.05% of the company’s stock.

Lamar Advertising Company Profile

Lamar Advertising Company is an outdoor advertising company in the United States. The Company operates in the advertising segment. The Company sells advertising on billboards, buses, shelters, benches and logo plates. It operates three types of outdoor advertising displays: billboards, logo signs and transit advertising displays.

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