Bell Asset Management Ltd decreased its stake in Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) by 16.1% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 46,389 shares of the company’s stock after selling 8,875 shares during the period. Bell Asset Management Ltd’s holdings in Estee Lauder Companies were worth $7,680,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of EL. Machina Capital S.A.S. acquired a new stake in Estee Lauder Companies during the 4th quarter worth $30,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Estee Lauder Companies by 215.4% during the 4th quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 369 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 252 shares during the period. Glassman Wealth Services boosted its stake in Estee Lauder Companies by 177.5% during the 4th quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 469 shares of the company’s stock worth $61,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. JCIC Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Estee Lauder Companies by 19.9% during the 4th quarter. JCIC Asset Management Inc. now owns 488 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares during the period. Finally, CWM LLC boosted its stake in Estee Lauder Companies by 200.6% during the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 511 shares of the company’s stock worth $66,000 after purchasing an additional 341 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on EL shares. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Estee Lauder Companies from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $171.00 to $116.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $145.00 to $155.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price target for the company from $165.00 to $135.00 in a report on Thursday, January 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on shares of Estee Lauder Companies to $173.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Thursday, March 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $161.09.

In other news, insider John Demsey sold 11,179 shares of Estee Lauder Companies stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.02, for a total transaction of $1,520,567.58. Following the sale, the insider now owns 10,288 shares in the company, valued at $1,399,373.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Gregory Polcer sold 28,036 shares of Estee Lauder Companies stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.00, for a total transaction of $4,625,940.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 107,350 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,712,750. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 574,507 shares of company stock worth $89,174,250 in the last 90 days. 16.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of EL traded up $1.61 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $168.13. The company had a trading volume of 21,440 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,111,180. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a current ratio of 1.71. Estee Lauder Companies Inc has a 1-year low of $121.47 and a 1-year high of $166.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $59.18 billion, a PE ratio of 37.29, a P/E/G ratio of 2.51 and a beta of 0.72.

Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.20. Estee Lauder Companies had a net margin of 11.49% and a return on equity of 40.38%. The firm had revenue of $4.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.52 earnings per share. Estee Lauder Companies’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Estee Lauder Companies Inc will post 5.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 28th were issued a $0.43 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 27th. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.02%. Estee Lauder Companies’s payout ratio is 38.14%.

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Estee Lauder Companies Profile

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products. The company offers a range of skin care products, such as moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners, body care products, exfoliators, acne care products, facial masks, cleansing devices, and sun care products; and makeup products, including lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, foundations, eyeshadows, nail polishes, and powders, as well as related items, including compacts, brushes, and other makeup tools.

Further Reading: Cost of Equity

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL)

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