Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Ralph Lauren outperformed the industry in the past six months, backed by solid bottom line performance in recent quarters. Notably, second-quarter fiscal 2018 marked the company’s 11th consecutive earnings beat. Moreover, sales topped estimates after two consecutive misses and gross margin continued to expand. Apart from the company’s efforts to improve quality of sales by reducing promotions and markdowns, favorable foreign currency rates aided results. Further, the company adjusted its fiscal 2018 guidance to account for the recent positive movements in foreign currency rates, which will aid revenue and operating margins in fiscal 2018. The company remains on track to deliver its goals under its Way Forward Plan, which bodes well. However, its North America business continues to suffer due to distribution and brand exits; planned reduction in shipments and promotions to enhance the quality of sales; and lower customer demand.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Bank of America downgraded Ralph Lauren from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and lowered their target price for the company from $100.14 to $80.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine raised Ralph Lauren from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Cowen set a $95.00 target price on Ralph Lauren and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. TheStreet raised Ralph Lauren from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on Ralph Lauren from $84.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $88.66.

Shares of Ralph Lauren (RL) opened at $96.11 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $7,810.00, a PE ratio of 16.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.66. Ralph Lauren has a 12-month low of $66.06 and a 12-month high of $103.09.

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The textile maker reported $1.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.90 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.64 billion. Ralph Lauren had a return on equity of 14.06% and a net margin of 1.29%. Ralph Lauren’s quarterly revenue was down 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.90 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Ralph Lauren will post 5.52 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. Ralph Lauren’s payout ratio is 208.33%.

In other news, insider Valerie Hermann sold 2,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.22, for a total value of $218,928.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 35,028 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,195,254.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 32.93% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ralph Lauren by 52.5% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 145,791 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $12,872,000 after buying an additional 50,177 shares during the period. AXA boosted its stake in shares of Ralph Lauren by 2,305.1% in the third quarter. AXA now owns 360,309 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $31,812,000 after buying an additional 345,328 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ralph Lauren in the third quarter valued at approximately $845,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Ralph Lauren by 4.9% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 179,308 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $15,831,000 after buying an additional 8,408 shares during the period. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ralph Lauren by 72,160.0% in the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 7,226 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $638,000 after buying an additional 7,216 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.98% of the company’s stock.

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About Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corporation is engaged in the design, marketing and distribution of lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home furnishings and other licensed product categories. The Company operates through three segments: Wholesale, Retail and Licensing. Wholesale business consists of sales made to department stores and specialty stores around the world.

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