Kirkland’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:KIRK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Kirkland's shares are improving significantly in the last three months in comparison to the industry. This is the result of narrower-than-expected loss and better-than-expected revenues in second-quarter fiscal 2017. In addition, Kirkland's recorded net sales growth of 7.0% due to increase in store count as well as comps growth. Sales were also driven by improved trends in existing stores, new store productivity and continued momentum in online activities. The growth in e-Commerce revenues were backed by a strong increase in website traffic, conversion and average order value. Despite overall strong sales growth, the company continues to face sluggish sales in Texas and has also been witnessing decline in traffic. Further, lower merchandise margins and higher supply chains costs are denting margins.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on KIRK. B. Riley started coverage on Kirkland’s in a report on Monday, June 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $13.50 target price for the company. Sidoti raised Kirkland’s from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $10.00 to $12.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd.

Shares of Kirkland’s (KIRK) traded up 1.41% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $12.20. 33,851 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $11.52 and its 200 day moving average is $10.58. Kirkland’s has a 1-year low of $8.17 and a 1-year high of $17.41. The company has a market cap of $195.33 million, a P/E ratio of 23.51 and a beta of 1.23.

Kirkland’s (NASDAQ:KIRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 22nd. The specialty retailer reported ($0.24) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.28) by $0.04. Kirkland’s had a return on equity of 6.59% and a net margin of 1.40%. The company had revenue of $131.68 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $125.44 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.22) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Kirkland’s will post $0.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Kirkland’s declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of KIRK. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Kirkland’s by 45.4% in the first quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 850,442 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $10,545,000 after purchasing an additional 265,417 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Kirkland’s by 15.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,202,584 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $12,362,000 after purchasing an additional 161,600 shares in the last quarter. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC raised its stake in Kirkland’s by 63.1% in the second quarter. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC now owns 322,164 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,310,000 after purchasing an additional 124,661 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Kirkland’s by 142.8% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 186,166 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,913,000 after purchasing an additional 109,492 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Foundry Partners LLC raised its stake in Kirkland’s by 18.2% in the second quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 534,020 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $5,490,000 after purchasing an additional 82,400 shares in the last quarter. 88.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Kirkland’s

Kirkland’s, Inc is a specialty retailer of home decor and gifts in the United States. The Company’s merchandise categories include wall decor, art, mirrors, lamps, decorative accessories, accent furniture, textiles, fragrance and accessories, frames, housewares, impulse and personal accessories, outdoor living and artificial floral products.

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