Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $179.00 price objective on the home improvement retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 12.11% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Home Depot’s spectacular past performance has helped it to surpass the industry in the past year. The company has been consistently gaining from its interconnected strategy, focus on Pro customers, and housing market recovery. These factors helped the company post a stellar second-quarter fiscal 2017 performance, which marked its highest ever quarterly sales and earnings. Notably, sales marked its 13th straight beat, while earnings retained its 5-year long trend of positive surprise. Results were driven by solid growth across all regions, both in stores and online. Also, Pro category sales continued to outperform, driven by constant efforts to enrich customers’ experiences. The sturdy first half and expectations of improved home prices encouraged the company to raise its fiscal 2017 view. However, gross margin remained plateaued, and is likely to fall 10 bps in fiscal 2017. Also, competition from online retailers may impact results.”

HD has been the topic of a number of other reports. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price (up from $173.00) on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $178.00 target price (up from $165.00) on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $178.00 target price on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $152.00 target price on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a report on Monday, July 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $169.86.

Home Depot, Inc. (HD) traded down 1.139% on Monday, hitting $157.841. 5,710,203 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $186.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.717 and a beta of 1.07. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $151.09 and its 200 day moving average is $151.42. Home Depot, Inc. has a 12 month low of $119.20 and a 12 month high of $160.86.

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 15th. The home improvement retailer reported $2.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.21 by $0.04. Home Depot, Inc. (The) had a net margin of 8.63% and a return on equity of 192.30%. The company had revenue of $28.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.84 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.97 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Home Depot, Inc. will post $7.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP Matt Carey sold 32,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.10, for a total value of $5,027,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 62,483 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,816,079.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Teresa Wynn Roseborough sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.39, for a total transaction of $2,255,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,984,977.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,717 shares of company stock valued at $8,916,321 in the last three months. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HD. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 2,013.2% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,319,727 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $509,247,000 after acquiring an additional 3,162,631 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners acquired a new position in shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) during the 1st quarter valued at about $326,895,000. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 15,121.1% during the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,865,037 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $12,158,000 after acquiring an additional 1,852,784 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 43.4% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 5,731,806 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $841,602,000 after acquiring an additional 1,734,963 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP acquired a new position in shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) during the 2nd quarter valued at about $133,780,000. 71.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Home Depot, Inc. (The)

The Home Depot, Inc (The Home Depot) is a home improvement retailer. The Company sells an assortment of building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products, and provides various services. The Home Depot stores serves three primary customer groups: do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers and professional customers.

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