Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma’s third-quarter fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.6%. Earnings also increased 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Net sales rose 1.1% year over year on double-digit revenue growth at West Elm, its newer businesses and international company owned businesses. However, comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment. All the brands, except for West Elm, reported soft comparable brand revenues. Williams-Sonoma has even lowered the high end of fiscal 2016 earnings guidance. Though the company expects its growth initiatives to drive revenue, we await better visibility. “

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Nomura set a $75.00 price objective on Williams-Sonoma and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Vetr lowered Williams-Sonoma from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.74 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Citigroup Inc. lowered their price objective on Williams-Sonoma from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Sunday, October 2nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Williams-Sonoma has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.16.

Analyst Recommendations for Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM)

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) opened at 54.87 on Wednesday. Williams-Sonoma has a 52 week low of $45.96 and a 52 week high of $65.08. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $49.19 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.54. The stock has a market cap of $4.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.32 and a beta of 0.84.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The company reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.25 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.26 billion. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 26.59% and a net margin of 5.93%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Williams-Sonoma will post $3.46 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Thursday, October 27th were given a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 25th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. Williams-Sonoma’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 44.18%.

In other Williams-Sonoma news, CEO Laura Alber sold 80,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.19, for a total transaction 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Janet Hayes sold 15,027 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 32,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,630,278.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 2.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,819,191 shares of the company’s stock worth $303,353,000 after buying an additional 123,732 shares during the last quarter. Blackhill Capital Inc. boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 0.3% in the second quarter. Blackhill Capital Inc. now owns 4,974,375 shares of the company’s stock worth $259,314,000 after buying an additional 12,776 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 25.2% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,351,855 shares of the company’s stock worth $171,213,000 after buying an additional 675,438 shares during the last quarter. HS Management Partners LLC boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 20.6% in the second quarter. HS Management Partners LLC now owns 3,112,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $162,248,000 after buying an additional 531,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 3.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,054,456 shares of the company’s stock worth $156,022,000 after buying an additional 111,283 shares during the last quarter. 98.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Williams-Sonoma

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.

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