Lowe’s Cos. (NYSE:LOW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $78.00 target price on the home improvement retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.46% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “An improving job picture, gradual recovery in the housing market and merchandising initiatives along with efforts to provide better omni-channel customer experience bode well for Lowe’s. It also remains well positioned to reap the benefits of strategic acquisitions done earlier. Lowe’s updated its fiscal 2016 guidance to reflect the buyout of RONA, and now expects total sales growth of about 10%. Net sales rose 5.3% in the second quarter but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate after having surpassed the same in the trailing four quarters. Lowe’s also delivered a negative earnings surprise, although it managed to register an increase of 14.2%. Despite year over year growth in both top and bottom lines, management cut its full-year earnings forecast. Analysts also pointed that the company’s expansion into regions where it already operates could cannibalize its sales performance and lower traffic count at existing stores.”

LOW has been the topic of a number of other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Cos. in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. Vetr downgraded Lowe’s Cos. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.38 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, June 20th. Cleveland Research downgraded Lowe’s Cos. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Lowe’s Cos. from $76.43 to $86.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $87.00 price objective on Lowe’s Cos. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $85.62.

Analyst Recommendations for Lowe`s Cos. (NYSE:LOW)

Lowe’s Cos. (NYSE:LOW) traded up 0.07% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $70.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,986,236 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $72.59 and its 200-day moving average is $77.08. The stock has a market cap of $61.25 billion, a PE ratio of 22.70 and a beta of 1.14. Lowe’s Cos. has a 12 month low of $62.62 and a 12 month high of $83.65.

Lowe’s Cos. (NYSE:LOW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 17th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.04. Lowe’s Cos. had a net margin of 4.58% and a return on equity of 43.38%. The firm had revenue of $18.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.42 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.20 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Lowe’s Cos. will post $4.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 17th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.00%. Lowe’s Cos.’s payout ratio is 45.16%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LOW. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. raised its stake in Lowe’s Cos. by 1.1% in the second quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 289,250 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $22,900,000 after buying an additional 3,232 shares during the last quarter. Huntington National Bank raised its stake in Lowe’s Cos. by 35.7% in the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 355,482 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $28,144,000 after buying an additional 93,569 shares during the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC raised its stake in Lowe’s Cos. by 532.4% in the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 393,423 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $31,147,000 after buying an additional 331,216 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. raised its stake in Lowe’s Cos. by 9.9% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. now owns 52,756 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $4,177,000 after buying an additional 4,747 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Merchants Corp raised its stake in Lowe’s Cos. by 8.3% in the second quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 38,672 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $3,061,000 after buying an additional 2,963 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.45% of the company’s stock.

Lowe’s Cos. Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a home improvement retailer. The Company operates approximately 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores, representing approximately 200 million square feet of retail selling space. The Company operates approximately 1,800 stores located across over 50 states in the United States, including approximately 80 Orchard Supply Hardware (Orchard) stores in California and Oregon, as well as approximately 40 stores in Canada and over 10 stores in Mexico.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LOW

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