Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PulteGroup have underperformed its industry year to date. Earnings estimates have remained unchanged for 2019 and 2020 over the past 30 days, limiting upside potential for the stock. Softness in homebuying demand, due to affordability challenges and general market uncertainty, is impacting the company's order flow. Moreover, weak first-quarter guidance for orders and gross margins, and lower backlog raise concerns. That said, PulteGroup continues to benefit from its land acquisition strategies that have resulted in improved revenues and profitability for quite some time now. Continued favorable trends in the economy and job growth are expected to more than offset the negative impact of modestly higher rates and rising material costs in the future.”

PHM has been the topic of several other reports. ValuEngine cut PulteGroup from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, January 17th. Credit Suisse Group set a $31.00 price target on PulteGroup and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. BTIG Research cut PulteGroup from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 17th. Royal Bank of Canada cut PulteGroup from a sector perform rating to an underperform rating and set a $25.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, January 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Raymond James cut PulteGroup from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. PulteGroup presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $28.54.

NYSE PHM opened at $30.22 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $8.45 billion, a PE ratio of 8.42, a PEG ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. PulteGroup has a 1-year low of $20.64 and a 1-year high of $33.04.

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The construction company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.90 billion. PulteGroup had a return on equity of 22.51% and a net margin of 10.03%. The company’s revenue was up 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. As a group, analysts forecast that PulteGroup will post 3.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th were issued a $0.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.46%. PulteGroup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.26%.

In related news, insider Ryan Marshall sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.81, for a total value of $417,150.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 453,996 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,625,628.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in PulteGroup by 8.5% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 30,373,220 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $752,345,000 after purchasing an additional 2,378,937 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in PulteGroup by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,107,766 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $522,601,000 after acquiring an additional 295,872 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in PulteGroup by 5.3% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 9,212,408 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $239,431,000 after acquiring an additional 462,613 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in PulteGroup by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 8,530,759 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $221,724,000 after acquiring an additional 361,635 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in PulteGroup by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 8,321,696 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $216,280,000 after acquiring an additional 199,009 shares during the period. 87.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

PulteGroup Company Profile

PulteGroup, Inc, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the homebuilding business in the United States. The company acquires and develops land primarily for residential purposes; and constructs housing on such land. It offers various home designs, including single-family detached, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes under the Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods brand names.

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