Ralph Lauren (RL) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning, Borsen Zeitung reports.

According to Zacks, “Ralph Lauren outperformed the sector year to date due to an impressive surprise trend. Fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 marked the company’s 17th straight earnings beat, backed by solid execution of key initiatives including the “Next Great Chapter” plan. Management stated that the strategy started off well in its first year and will continue to drive the company’s performance going ahead. Moreover, sales topped estimates for fifth straight quarter backed by robust top-line growth in Asia and Europe, offset by decline in revenues at North America. Based on its efforts to focus on consumer demands, elevate brands, and balance growth and productivity, management is confident about Ralph Lauren’s performance. However, the North America unit continues to suffer due to soft traffic and a challenging wholesale business on planned reduction of off-price sales. Currency headwinds are also likely to mar sales growth in fiscal 2020.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on RL. Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an outperform rating and set a $155.00 price objective on shares of Ralph Lauren in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Deutsche Bank reduced their price objective on shares of Ralph Lauren from $160.00 to $154.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Nomura reduced their price objective on shares of Ralph Lauren from $129.00 to $123.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Bank of America reduced their price objective on shares of Ralph Lauren from $114.00 to $108.00 and set an underperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Ralph Lauren from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $135.00 to $145.00 in a report on Thursday, May 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $137.47.

RL opened at $112.79 on Monday. Ralph Lauren has a 1-year low of $95.63 and a 1-year high of $147.79. The company has a quick ratio of 2.18, a current ratio of 3.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.69, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.69.

Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 14th. The textile maker reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.48 billion. Ralph Lauren had a net margin of 6.83% and a return on equity of 17.38%. The business’s revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.90 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Ralph Lauren will post 7.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 12th. Investors of record on Friday, June 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.6875 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 27th. This is a boost from Ralph Lauren’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. This represents a $2.75 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.44%. Ralph Lauren’s payout ratio is 34.77%.

In related news, Director Joyce F. Brown sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.00, for a total transaction of $252,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,278 shares in the company, valued at $917,028. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 32.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in RL. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in Ralph Lauren by 11,845.6% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,726,585 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 2,703,760 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Ralph Lauren during the fourth quarter worth about $72,636,000. Marshall Wace LLP boosted its holdings in Ralph Lauren by 291.9% during the first quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 735,437 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $95,371,000 after purchasing an additional 547,787 shares during the last quarter. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd boosted its holdings in Ralph Lauren by 181.1% during the fourth quarter. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd now owns 826,620 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $85,522,000 after purchasing an additional 532,519 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Ralph Lauren by 9.7% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,934,994 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $510,290,000 after purchasing an additional 348,794 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.84% of the company’s stock.

About Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corp. engages in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products. The firm offers apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and other licensed product. It operates through the following segments: North America, Europe, and Asia. The North America segment consists of sales of Ralph Lauren branded apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and related products made through the Company’s wholesale and retail businesses in the U.S.

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