A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW):

  • 8/8/2017 – Lowe’s Companies was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Lowe’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past three months owing to lower-than-expected results in first-quarter fiscal 2017. However, the company’s efforts towards increasing pro-customers base might help drive the company stock going forward. Lowe’s recently completed the buyout of Maintenance Supply Headquarters, which will help strengthen relationship with pro customers. Further, we believe improving job scenario, gradual recovery in the housing market and merchandising initiatives along with efforts to provide better omni-channel customer experience bode well. Management expects sales to increase approximately 5% with comps growth of about 3.5% during fiscal 2017. However, Lowe’s fiscal 2017 earnings projections of approximately $4.30 per share, down from the previous estimate of $4.64 is a cause of worry for investors. Of late estimates have been stable ahead of the second-quarter earnings release.”
  • 8/2/2017 – Lowe’s Companies was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 7/24/2017 – Lowe’s Companies was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating.
  • 7/21/2017 – Lowe’s Companies had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC. They now have a $89.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/21/2017 – Lowe’s Companies had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. They now have a $87.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/20/2017 – Lowe’s Companies had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets. They now have a $89.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/17/2017 – Lowe’s Companies was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “It seems that Lowe's has not been able to extract optimum benefit from improving job scenario and gradual recovery in the housing market. The stock hasn’t exhibited a considerable run in the bourses and just increased 6.6% in the past six months when compared with the industry’s gain of 8.8%. Lower-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2017 results can be cited as one of the reasons for the same. We also noted that comparable sales did increase but came below analysts’ expectations and the rate of growth decelerated sequentially. Moreover, contraction in gross margin continued in the quarter as well. Nevertheless, management is focusing on improving its merchandising initiatives along with efforts to provide better omni-channel facilities and is also strengthening its relationship with pro customers. The company is concentrating on enhancing supply chain and managing inventory as well as containing costs.”
  • 7/12/2017 – Lowe’s Companies had its “underperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein. They now have a $69.00 price target on the stock.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) traded down 1.70% during trading on Thursday, hitting $77.01. The stock had a trading volume of 4,028,620 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $76.78 and its 200 day moving average is $79.39. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has a 52-week low of $64.87 and a 52-week high of $86.25. The firm has a market cap of $65.01 billion, a PE ratio of 24.15 and a beta of 1.08. Lowe’s Companies also was the target of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock investors purchased 6,466 put options on the company. This is an increase of 538% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,014 put options.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 24th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $16.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.99 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 56.78% and a net margin of 4.22%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will post $4.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 26th were given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 24th. This is an increase from Lowe’s Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.57%.

In other news, insider Richard D. Maltsbarger sold 11,672 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $936,094.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 37,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,024,823.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a home improvement retailer. The Company operates approximately 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores, representing approximately 200 million square feet of retail selling space. The Company operates approximately 1,800 stores located across over 50 states in the United States, including approximately 80 Orchard Supply Hardware (Orchard) stores in California and Oregon, as well as approximately 40 stores in Canada and over 10 stores in Mexico.

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