Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “It seems that Lowe's has not been able to extract optimum benefit from improving job scenario and gradual recovery in the housing market. The stock hasn’t exhibited a considerable run in the bourses and just increased 6.6% in the past six months when compared with the industry’s gain of 8.8%. Lower-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2017 results can be cited as one of the reasons for the same. We also noted that comparable sales did increase but came below analysts’ expectations and the rate of growth decelerated sequentially. Moreover, contraction in gross margin continued in the quarter as well. Nevertheless, management is focusing on improving its merchandising initiatives along with efforts to provide better omni-channel facilities and is also strengthening its relationship with pro customers. The company is concentrating on enhancing supply chain and managing inventory as well as containing costs.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on LOW. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $69.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Wolfe Research reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $94.00 price target (down from $95.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Sunday, May 28th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) decreased their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $97.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $89.00 price target (down from $94.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Sunday, May 28th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.39.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) traded up 0.422% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $76.381. The company had a trading volume of 1,838,981 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $80.38 and a 200-day moving average of $78.55. Lowe’s Companies has a 12-month low of $64.87 and a 12-month high of $86.25. The company has a market capitalization of $64.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.951 and a beta of 1.08.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 24th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.03. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 56.78% and a net margin of 4.22%. The firm had revenue of $16.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.99 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.87 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Richard D. Maltsbarger sold 11,672 shares of Lowe’s Companies stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $936,094.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,024,823.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LOW. CAMG Solamere Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $911,000. Shepherd Financial Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,684,000. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC increased its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 230,750 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $16,411,000 after buying an additional 3,797 shares during the last quarter. Cigna Investments Inc. New purchased a new stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,305,000. Finally, Denver Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 461.0% in the fourth quarter. Denver Investment Advisors LLC now owns 34,518 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $2,455,000 after buying an additional 28,365 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.54% of the company’s stock.

Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a home improvement retailer. The Company operates approximately 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores, representing approximately 200 million square feet of retail selling space. The Company operates approximately 1,800 stores located across over 50 states in the United States, including approximately 80 Orchard Supply Hardware (Orchard) stores in California and Oregon, as well as approximately 40 stores in Canada and over 10 stores in Mexico.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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