Lowe’s Companies (LOW) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Lowe’s have not only declined but also underperformed the industry in the past month. Notably, Lowe’s plans to exit Orchard Supply Hardware business and Mexico retail operations along with shuttering certain non-core businesses and stores have led to higher pre-tax charges. This along with soft margins and headwinds related to intense competition remain matters of concern. Additionally, anticipates softness in the Canadian housing market to persist in the near-term. On the flip side, the company witnessed decent comps performance in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018. Although top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the same rose year over year gaining from pro-customer centric approach as well as robust marketing and merchandising efforts. Lowe's has chalked out a detailed plan to augment sales, contain costs and improve cash flow generation from operations. “

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Wedbush increased their target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $95.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Evercore ISI started coverage on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $120.00 to $126.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, KeyCorp increased their target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $114.52.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies stock traded up $3.65 during trading on Thursday, reaching $109.40. 1,006,797 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,433,966. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.95. The firm has a market cap of $83.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.26. Lowe’s Companies has a 1 year low of $84.75 and a 1 year high of $118.23.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The home improvement retailer reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80. The company had revenue of $15.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.75 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 3.24% and a return on equity of 80.91%. Lowe’s Companies’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies will post 6.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LOW. Sit Investment Associates Inc. raised its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 30.8% in the fourth quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 3,925 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $363,000 after buying an additional 925 shares in the last quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 360.6% in the fourth quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 654 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $60,000 after buying an additional 512 shares in the last quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. raised its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 5,763 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $532,000 after buying an additional 565 shares in the last quarter. Investment Partners LTD. bought a new position in Lowe’s Companies in the fourth quarter worth about $335,000. Finally, Planning Directions Inc. raised its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 31.7% in the fourth quarter. Planning Directions Inc. now owns 2,363 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 569 shares in the last quarter. 76.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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