Investors Sell Masco (MAS) on Strength Following Weak Earnings

Investors sold shares of Masco Corp (NYSE:MAS) on strength during trading hours on Friday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. $41.83 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $71.09 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $29.26 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Masco had the 24th highest net out-flow for the day. Masco traded up $0.98 for the day and closed at $38.48The construction company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $1.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.99 billion. Masco had a return on equity of 520.34% and a net margin of 8.78%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 12th will be issued a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.25%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 11th. Masco’s payout ratio is currently 19.20%.

MAS has been the subject of several analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $34.00 target price on Masco and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 11th. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on Masco to $52.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research cut Masco from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Bank of America upgraded Masco from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $39.00 target price on Masco and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.05.

In other news, VP Kenneth G. Cole sold 23,161 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.03, for a total value of $927,134.83. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 96,843 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,876,625.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Keith J. Allman sold 51,283 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.82, for a total value of $2,042,089.06. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 426,072 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,966,187.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 298,940 shares of company stock worth $11,890,269. Corporate insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mackay Shields LLC lifted its stake in Masco by 176.8% during the 4th quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 135,721 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,968,000 after acquiring an additional 86,680 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Masco by 16.1% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,729,104 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $752,319,000 after purchasing an additional 3,573,503 shares during the period. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund increased its holdings in Masco by 16.1% during the 4th quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 107,009 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,129,000 after purchasing an additional 14,800 shares during the period. Sciencast Management LP purchased a new stake in Masco during the 1st quarter worth about $885,000. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp purchased a new stake in Masco during the 3rd quarter worth about $343,000. 92.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 43.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.39, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.46.

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About Masco (NYSE:MAS)

Masco Corporation designs, manufactures, and distributes home improvement and building products worldwide. The company's Plumbing Products segment offers faucets, showerheads, handheld showers, valves, bath hardware and accessories, bathing units, shower bases and enclosures, toilets, acrylic tubs, shower trays, spas, exercise pools, fitness systems, and other non-decorative plumbing products; brass, copper, and composite plumbing system components; and thermoplastic extrusions, extruded plastic profiles, and specialized fabrications.

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