Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 43,300 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 876% compared to the average daily volume of 4,435 call options.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 8,621.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 17,673,178 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $191,000 after acquiring an additional 17,470,536 shares during the last quarter. Lunia Capital LP boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 18,944.2% in the fourth quarter. Lunia Capital LP now owns 15,741,007 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $15,741,000 after acquiring an additional 15,658,352 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Lowe’s Companies in the fourth quarter worth about $734,285,000. Capital International Investors acquired a new stake in Lowe’s Companies in the third quarter worth about $746,818,000. Finally, FMR LLC raised its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 9.2% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,893,923 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $2,206,843,000 after purchasing an additional 2,014,183 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.65% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $125.00 to $127.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $110.00 to $120.00 in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $99.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Finally, Wedbush set a $95.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 13th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $114.13.

Shares of LOW stock opened at $113.14 on Wednesday. Lowe’s Companies has a 1 year low of $81.16 and a 1 year high of $117.70. The company has a market cap of $90.88 billion, a PE ratio of 22.01, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.95.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The home improvement retailer reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 3.24% and a return on equity of 80.91%. The business had revenue of $15.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. Lowe’s Companies’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Lowe’s Companies will post 6.06 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 8th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 24th will be given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 23rd. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.70%. Lowe’s Companies’s payout ratio is 37.35%.

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Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe's Companies, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company offers a line of products for construction, maintenance, repair, remodeling, and decorating. It provides home improvement products in various categories, such as lumber and building materials, appliances, seasonal and outdoor living, tools and hardware, fashion fixtures, rough plumbing and electrical, paint, millwork, lawn and garden, flooring, and kitchens.

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