Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “PulteGroup's second-quarter adjusted earnings surpassed analysts’ expectation by 4.4%. Earnings also increased 27% from the year-ago figure. The company benefitted from higher demand, courtesy of positive U.S. housing market dynamics on an improving economy and job market. Also, high consumer confidence, low interest rates and limited supply of homes in the nation bode well. Total revenue however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5% but was up 12.3% year over year on increased number of homes delivered. Home closings rose across all operating regions of the company, except Northeast, Southeast and West in the quarter. Positive housing market outlook, prudent land investments, new value creation initiatives and solid cash position boost growth. However, home sales gross margin decreased 40 basis points year over year in the quarter. Rising costs pose a threat to margins as they limit pricing power.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on PulteGroup from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. FBR & Co reissued an outperform rating and set a $28.00 price target (up previously from $26.00) on shares of PulteGroup in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc downgraded PulteGroup from a positive rating to a neutral rating and set a $26.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. UBS AG downgraded PulteGroup from a positive rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Wedbush reissued a neutral rating and set a $22.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $25.08.

Shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) traded up 1.536% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $24.795. The company had a trading volume of 1,217,252 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $24.33 and its 200 day moving average is $22.96. The company has a market capitalization of $7.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.722 and a beta of 1.14. PulteGroup has a 12 month low of $17.69 and a 12 month high of $25.20.

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The construction company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. PulteGroup had a return on equity of 13.43% and a net margin of 7.35%. The business’s revenue was up 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that PulteGroup will post $2.08 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 8th were given a dividend of $0.09 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 6th. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.47%. PulteGroup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.00%.

In other PulteGroup news, Director Brian P. Anderson sold 14,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.18, for a total transaction of $324,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 108,744 shares in the company, valued at $2,520,685.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.71% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PHM. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its position in shares of PulteGroup by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 10,162 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $187,000 after buying an additional 110 shares in the last quarter. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of PulteGroup by 0.4% in the second quarter. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,600 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $971,000 after buying an additional 175 shares in the last quarter. Huntington National Bank increased its position in shares of PulteGroup by 1.9% in the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 10,494 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $258,000 after buying an additional 192 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its position in shares of PulteGroup by 3.2% in the first quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 10,492 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $247,000 after buying an additional 330 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of The West increased its position in shares of PulteGroup by 2.1% in the first quarter. Bank of The West now owns 18,911 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $445,000 after buying an additional 382 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.94% of the company’s stock.

PulteGroup Company Profile

PulteGroup, Inc is a homebuilder in the United States. The Company’s segments include Homebuilding and Financial Services. Its Homebuilding operations are engaged in the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes within the United States and the construction of housing on such land.

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