Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Monday. Stock traders bought 6,466 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 538% compared to the average volume of 1,014 put options.

LOW has been the subject of a number of research reports. Gordon Haskett initiated coverage on Lowe’s Companies in a report on Tuesday. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $88.00 price target for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $100.00 price target on Lowe’s Companies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Friday, August 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.12.

In related news, SVP Matthew V. Hollifield sold 7,853 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.30, for a total value of $614,889.90. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 30,750 shares in the company, valued at $2,407,725. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total value of $163,685.96. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $655,368. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LOW. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,377,883 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,045,875,000 after acquiring an additional 58,073,138 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 204.0% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,018,171 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $659,174,000 after acquiring an additional 5,380,759 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 62.6% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 9,694,439 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $751,610,000 after acquiring an additional 3,732,153 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1,457.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,787,825 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $293,669,000 after acquiring an additional 3,544,665 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,250,843,000 after acquiring an additional 2,650,045 shares during the last quarter. 74.22% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies (NYSE LOW) opened at 81.46 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $76.90 and its 200 day moving average price is $79.42. The stock has a market cap of $67.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.13 and a beta of 1.07. Lowe’s Companies has a one year low of $64.87 and a one year high of $86.25.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $19.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.58 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 62.02% and a net margin of 4.51%. Lowe’s Companies’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.37 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.50 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be given a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 24th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.01%. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.20%.

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Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a home improvement company. The Company operates approximately 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores. The Company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling and decorating. The Company offers home improvement products in categories, including Lumber and Building Materials; Tools and Hardware; Appliances; Fashion Fixtures; Rough Plumbing and Electrical; Lawn and Garden; Seasonal and Outdoor Living; Paint; Flooring; Millwork, and Kitchens.

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