Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, shares of Universal Forest Products have outperformed the industry. We believe that strengthening demand in the U.S. construction market, addition of customers, new product launches and synergistic benefits from acquired assets will bode well for the company in the long run. Also, returning value to shareholders remains a priority. In October, a 13.3% increase in semi-annual dividend rate was declared while it paid stock dividend in November. However, the company is exposed to risks arising from higher costs and expenses and lumber market volatility. Also, headwinds like adverse foreign currency movements, geopolitical issues and stiff competition might prove detrimental to its profitability in the quarters ahead. Earnings estimates on the stock remained stable for both 2017 and 2018 in the last 60 days.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on UFPI. BidaskClub lowered Universal Forest Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. BMO Capital Markets started coverage on Universal Forest Products in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $36.67 price target on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.17.

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) traded up $0.42 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $38.40. The stock had a trading volume of 284,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 365,647. Universal Forest Products has a fifty-two week low of $25.93 and a fifty-two week high of $39.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 2.62 and a quick ratio of 1.40. The company has a market cap of $2,323.40, a PE ratio of 21.38, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.83.

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The construction company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.03. Universal Forest Products had a return on equity of 12.05% and a net margin of 2.85%. The business had revenue of $1.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $984.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.45 EPS. Universal Forest Products’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Universal Forest Products will post 1.87 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP Charles Scott Greene sold 3,299 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.00, for a total value of $122,063.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert D. Coleman sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.15, for a total value of $550,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 1,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $185,052. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 38,899 shares of company stock valued at $2,159,694 over the last quarter. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UFPI. Algert Global LLC raised its holdings in shares of Universal Forest Products by 81.1% during the 3rd quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 33,539 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,292,000 after buying an additional 15,022 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its holdings in shares of Universal Forest Products by 7.1% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 20,238 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,987,000 after buying an additional 1,338 shares in the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in Universal Forest Products by 393.8% in the 3rd quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,195 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 953 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its holdings in Universal Forest Products by 166.3% in the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 468,674 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $46,005,000 after purchasing an additional 292,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Universal Forest Products by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,596,582 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $156,719,000 after purchasing an additional 38,595 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 26.69% of the company’s stock.

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About Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, supplies wood, wood composite and other products to three primary markets, such as retail, construction and industrial. Its segments include North, South, West, Alternative Materials, International, idX Holdings, Inc (idX) and Corporate divisions.

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