Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. They currently have $53.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma enjoys a competitive advantage owing to its multi-brand/multi-channel business model. The company is focused on enhancing customer experience through improved and innovative marketing techniques. Though shares of Williams-Sonoma underperformed its industry so far this year, earnings estimates for the current quarter remained stable over the last 60 days while that for the current year moved slightly up. However, comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment and cautious customers. Moreover, continued e-commerce and supply chain investments weigh on operating margin.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on WSM. Gordon Haskett began coverage on Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. They set an accumulate rating and a $61.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a report on Thursday, May 25th. ValuEngine cut Williams-Sonoma from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Williams-Sonoma from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Williams-Sonoma currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $56.82.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE WSM) traded up 0.71% on Tuesday, hitting $45.67. The company had a trading volume of 369,581 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.96 billion, a PE ratio of 13.30 and a beta of 0.89. Williams-Sonoma has a 52 week low of $43.96 and a 52 week high of $57.40. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $46.42 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.17.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 24th. The specialty retailer reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.02. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 25.51% and a net margin of 5.99%. The company had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.11 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.53 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Williams-Sonoma will post $3.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 21st will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.44%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 19th. Williams-Sonoma’s dividend payout ratio is presently 45.35%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WSM. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 4.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,572,681 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $464,276,000 after buying an additional 444,339 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 8.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,617,537 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $354,832,000 after buying an additional 506,305 shares during the period. Blackhill Capital Inc. raised its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 0.7% in the second quarter. Blackhill Capital Inc. now owns 4,026,866 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $195,303,000 after buying an additional 29,065 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 14.6% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,798,275 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $203,663,000 after buying an additional 484,775 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 1.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,214,321 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $172,352,000 after buying an additional 31,557 shares during the period. 97.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM)

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