The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Home Depot reported better-than-expected top and bottom-line results for third-quarter fiscal 2016, gaining from balanced sales growth as well as persistent focus on productivity that bolstered earnings. With this, the company retained its four-year long trend of beating earnings estimates. Further, the company raised its earnings growth guidance for fiscal 2016, while retaining its sales and comps forecast. We believe Home Depot’s focus on developing merchandising tools, along with investment in building its interconnected capabilities is expected to boost its top line, and enhance market share. The company is on track to achieve its long-term dividend payout, share repurchase and return on investment targets. However, intense competition and a soft economic recovery may prove deterrents, pushing back home improvement projects. The company’s significant exposure to international markets makes it vulnerable to currency fluctuations.”

HD has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Piper Jaffray Cos. downgraded The Home Depot from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $152.00 to $121.00 in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Macquarie reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of The Home Depot in a research report on Tuesday, November 1st. Vetr downgraded The Home Depot from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $132.30 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price target on shares of The Home Depot in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on The Home Depot in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $157.00 price target for the company. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the stock. The Home Depot presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $145.58.

Analyst Recommendations for The Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

The Home Depot (NYSE:HD) opened at 128.33 on Thursday. The Home Depot has a 52 week low of $109.62 and a 52 week high of $139.00. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $125.71 and its 200 day moving average price is $130.93. The firm has a market cap of $157.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.83 and a beta of 1.05.

The Home Depot (NYSE:HD) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 15th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.02. The Home Depot had a return on equity of 123.29% and a net margin of 8.23%. The business earned $23.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.05 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.36 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that The Home Depot will post $6.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be paid a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. The Home Depot’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.66%.

In other news, EVP Mark Holifield sold 15,606 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.39, for a total value of $2,003,654.34. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 39,499 shares in the company, valued at $5,071,276.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.26% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of HD. Capital World Investors boosted its stake in shares of The Home Depot by 0.4% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 86,279,401 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $11,017,017,000 after buying an additional 332,206 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of The Home Depot by 2.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,090,288 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $5,246,819,000 after buying an additional 931,070 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its stake in shares of The Home Depot by 37,680.1% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 35,400,000 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $32,480,000 after buying an additional 35,306,300 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of The Home Depot by 1.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 33,849,590 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $4,355,765,000 after buying an additional 338,536 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of The Home Depot by 2.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 17,214,514 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $2,215,164,000 after buying an additional 453,490 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.62% of the company’s stock.

The Home Depot Company Profile

The Home Depot, Inc (The Home Depot) is a home improvement retailer. The Company sells an assortment of building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products, and provides various services. The Home Depot stores serve three primary customer groups: do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers and professional customers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HD

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