Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma enjoys the competitive advantage owing to its multi-brand/multi-channel business model. The top line was strong in 2015 and first half of 2016, driven by strong performance of the West Elm. Revenues were also driven by the increase in international sales and from its e-commerce business gaining traction. The successful launch of new products and stores is also contributing to its sales growth. However, a soft retail environment and cautious consumers prompted management to lower its 2016 EPS guidance. Though the company expects these initiatives to drive revenue in the upcoming quarter, margins are hurt due to supply chain investments and inventory initiatives. Comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment and cautious customers.”

WSM has been the topic of a number of other reports. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Sunday, October 2nd. Wedbush reissued a neutral rating and issued a $53.00 price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Vetr lowered Williams-Sonoma from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $56.74 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Barclays PLC reissued an underweight rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Argus restated a buy rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $59.26.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) traded up 2.64% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $53.28. 1,283,459 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $48.75 and its 200-day moving average price is $51.71. Williams-Sonoma has a 12 month low of $45.96 and a 12 month high of $67.04. The firm has a market cap of $4.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.95 and a beta of 0.84.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 24th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 26.86% and a net margin of 5.97%. The company had revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.58 earnings per share. Williams-Sonoma’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Williams-Sonoma will post $3.46 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 23rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 27th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 25th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.85%. Williams-Sonoma’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 44.31%.

In other news, insider Janet Hayes sold 15,027 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.74, for a total value of $747,442.98. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 32,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,630,278.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Laura Alber sold 80,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.19, for a total value of $4,255,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 307,860 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,375,073.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 100.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 12.7% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,091 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 236 shares during the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 63.2% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 2,840 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank acquired a new stake in Williams-Sonoma during the second quarter worth $157,000. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in Williams-Sonoma during the second quarter worth $205,000. 95.69% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Williams-Sonoma Company Profile

Williams-Sonoma, Inc is a multi-channel specialty retailer of products for the home. The Company operates retail stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and the United Kingdom. It operates through two segments: e-commerce and retail. The e-commerce segment has various merchandising strategies, such as Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, PBteen, Williams-Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham, which sell its products through the Company’s e-commerce Websites and direct-mail catalogs.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WSM

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