Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Lowe’s shares have slid and underperformed the industry in the past six months. In fact, the stock came under pressure after it posted lower-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2017 results. This was the second quarter in row wherein both the top and bottom lines fell short of the estimate. Nevertheless, both sales and earnings grew year over year, albeit at a rate lower than the preceding quarter. However, comps showed considerable improvement. We believe Lowe’s buyout of Maintenance Supply Headquarters will help strengthen relationship with pro customers. Further, improving job scenario, housing market recovery, merchandising initiatives and post hurricane construction activities along with efforts to enhance omni-channel capabilities bode well. Management expects sales to increase 5% with comps growth of 3.5% during fiscal 2017 but took a conservative stance when it comes to earnings per share and operating margin guidance.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Bank of America Corporation began coverage on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada dropped their target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $85.00 to $81.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $89.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and set 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, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.32.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE LOW) traded up 0.70% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $80.56. 2,061,292 shares of the stock traded hands. Lowe’s Companies has a 12-month low of $64.87 and a 12-month high of $86.25. The firm has a market cap of $67.09 billion, a PE ratio of 22.87 and a beta of 1.07. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $79.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $79.32.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.62 by ($0.05). Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 62.02% and a net margin of 4.51%. The business had revenue of $19.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.58 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.37 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Lowe’s Companies will post $4.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, SVP Matthew V. Hollifield sold 7,853 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were 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 directly owns 30,750 shares in the company, valued at $2,407,725. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total transaction of $163,685.96. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $655,368. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 26.8% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 460,861 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $36,841,000 after buying an additional 97,481 shares during the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 0.5% in the third quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 133,750 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $10,692,000 after buying an additional 728 shares during the last quarter. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 44.9% in the third quarter. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 16,020 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $1,281,000 after buying an additional 4,965 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 1.8% in the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 656,532 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $52,483,000 after buying an additional 11,484 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 1,747.5% in the third quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC now owns 137,455 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $10,988,000 after buying an additional 130,015 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.08% of the company’s stock.

About Lowe’s Companies

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

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