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

Shares of Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) opened at $77.92 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $64.16 billion, a PE ratio of 17.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 1.13.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last posted 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). Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 62.02% and a net margin of 4.51%. The firm had revenue of $19.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.58 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.37 earnings per share. Lowe’s Companies’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Lowe’s Companies will post 4.51 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 24th. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.20%.

LOW has been the topic of several research reports. Robert W. Baird set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Longbow Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.21.

In other news, SVP Matthew V. Hollifield sold 7,853 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.30, for a total transaction of $614,889.90. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 30,750 shares in the company, valued at $2,407,725. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 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 transaction of $163,685.96. Following the sale, the insider now owns 8,400 shares in the company, valued at approximately $655,368. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. FDx Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 117,943 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $9,428,000 after purchasing an additional 3,660 shares during the period. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 18.2% in the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 11,592 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $927,000 after purchasing an additional 1,784 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 18.7% in the 3rd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 6,939 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $555,000 after purchasing an additional 1,095 shares during the period. Cohen Lawrence B boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 14.6% in the 3rd quarter. Cohen Lawrence B now owns 5,712 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $457,000 after purchasing an additional 727 shares during the period. Finally, Essex Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 20.0% in the 3rd quarter. Essex Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,040 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $323,000 after purchasing an additional 672 shares during the period. 74.36% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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