Lowe's Companies (LOW) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lowe's Companies (NYSE:LOW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Lowe’s shares declined after it reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings and issued soft guidance for 2018. Even, the company’s revenues beat and comps growth failed to cushion the stock. Consequently, the stock has underperformed the industry in a month. For fiscal 2018, the company anticipates earnings per share in the band of $5.40-$5.50, which was sharply below the analyst expectations. Of late, estimates are trending downwards. However, we believe improving job scenario, housing market recovery, merchandising initiatives and post hurricane construction activities along with efforts to enhance omni-channel capabilities bode well for Lowe’s. The buyout of Maintenance Supply Headquarters is also strengthening relationship with Pro customers. Notably, Pro growth rate in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 have outpaced do-it-yourself (DIY). Also, Canadian and Mexican businesses have been doing quite well.”

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Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Lowe's Companies from $89.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating and set a $92.00 price target (up previously from $87.00) on shares of Lowe's Companies in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Lowe's Companies from $87.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Lowe's Companies in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson began coverage on shares of Lowe's Companies in a report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a buy rating for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $97.93.

Shares of Lowe's Companies (LOW) opened at $87.28 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $71,512.80, a P/E ratio of 21.29, a PEG ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a current ratio of 1.06, a quick ratio of 0.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.65. Lowe's Companies has a 1-year low of $70.76 and a 1-year high of $108.98.

Lowe's Companies (NYSE:LOW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 28th. The home improvement retailer reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by ($0.13). The firm had revenue of $15.49 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.34 billion. Lowe's Companies had a return on equity of 65.17% and a net margin of 5.02%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. research analysts forecast that Lowe's Companies will post 5.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Lowe's Companies declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, January 26th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the home improvement retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LOW. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its position in shares of Lowe's Companies by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,825 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $297,000 after purchasing an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Lowe's Companies by 8.7% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,368 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $154,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the last quarter. Keel Point LLC lifted its position in shares of Lowe's Companies by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 8,263 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $641,000 after purchasing an additional 132 shares during the last quarter. National Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Lowe's Companies by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,570 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $1,130,000 after purchasing an additional 169 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hancock Holding Co. lifted its position in shares of Lowe's Companies by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Hancock Holding Co. now owns 3,556 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.14% of the company’s stock.

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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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