PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Rising land and labor costs are a threat to PulteGroup’s margins as they limit pricing power. Labor shortages are leading to higher wages while land prices are rising due to limited availability. This is denting homebuilders’ margins. Home sales’ gross margin decreased 230 basis points year over year to 23.2% in the last reported quarter. Also, any further increase in mortgage rates can dent the housing momentum as high mortgage rates dilute the demand for new homes as mortgage loans become expensive. This may lower purchasing power of the buyer’s and hurts volumes, revenues and profits of homebuilders. That said, PulteGroup shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Building-Residential/Commercial industry so far this year. The company’s value-creation strategy, prudent land investments and strategic initiatives may bode well for PulteGroup in the upcoming quarters.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on PHM. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $24.00 price target (up previously from $23.00) on shares of PulteGroup in a report on Tuesday, March 7th. Wedbush reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and issued a $15.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of PulteGroup in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $22.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of PulteGroup from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of PulteGroup in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $23.64.

PulteGroup (NYSE PHM) traded down 0.393% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $24.095. The stock had a trading volume of 2,031,226 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $23.14 and a 200-day moving average price of $21.85. PulteGroup has a 1-year low of $17.69 and a 1-year high of $24.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $7.60 billion, a PE ratio of 13.305 and a beta of 1.21.

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The construction company reported $0.31 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.77 billion. PulteGroup had a net margin of 7.77% and a return on equity of 12.74%. PulteGroup’s revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.24 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that PulteGroup will post $2.24 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 8th will be paid a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 6th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.49%. PulteGroup’s dividend payout ratio is 19.78%.

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In related news, insider James L. Ossowski sold 5,000 shares of PulteGroup stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.45, for a total value of $117,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,936 shares in the company, valued at approximately $748,899.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider James L. Ossowski sold 10,000 shares of PulteGroup stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.95, for a total transaction of $239,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 31,936 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $764,867.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 191,000 shares of company stock valued at $4,582,230 over the last quarter. 0.71% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A acquired a new position in PulteGroup during the first quarter worth $129,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in PulteGroup by 69.4% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 5,507 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 2,257 shares in the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new position in PulteGroup during the second quarter worth $109,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its position in PulteGroup by 12.4% in the first quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 6,380 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 702 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in PulteGroup during the first quarter worth $155,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.76% of the company’s stock.

PulteGroup Company Profile

PulteGroup, Inc is a homebuilder in the United States. The Company’s segments include Homebuilding and Financial Services. Its Homebuilding operations are engaged in the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes within the United States and the construction of housing on such land.

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Analyst Recommendations for PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM)

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