Clearbridge Investments LLC decreased its position in Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) by 5.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 141,024 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock after selling 7,626 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC’s holdings in Lowe’s Companies were worth $11,594,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,377,883 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $5,045,875,000 after buying an additional 58,073,138 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 204.0% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,018,171 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $659,174,000 after buying an additional 5,380,759 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $5,250,843,000 after buying an additional 2,650,045 shares during the period. Glenview Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 33.8% in the first quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC now owns 5,452,659 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $448,263,000 after buying an additional 1,376,540 shares during the period. Finally, Scopus Asset Management L.P. increased its position in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 866.7% in the first quarter. Scopus Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,450,000 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $119,205,000 after buying an additional 1,300,000 shares during the period. 74.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) traded down 0.53% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $73.73. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,693,320 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $76.56 and its 200 day moving average is $79.46. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has a 12 month low of $64.87 and a 12 month high of $86.25. The stock has a market capitalization of $62.24 billion, a PE ratio of 23.12 and a beta of 1.08. Lowe’s Companies also saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Traders purchased 23,265 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 109% compared to the average volume of 11,139 call options.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 24th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $16.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.99 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 4.22% and a return on equity of 56.78%. Lowe’s Companies’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will post $4.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 26th were issued a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 24th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.21%. This is a boost from Lowe’s Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.57%.

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A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on LOW. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) cut their target price on Lowe’s Companies from $97.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 25th. Vetr downgraded Lowe’s Companies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $83.11 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $100.00 target price on Lowe’s Companies and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on Lowe’s Companies from $89.00 to $87.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 target price on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $85.63.

In other Lowe’s Companies news, insider Richard D. Maltsbarger sold 11,672 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total value of $936,094.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,024,823.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

About Lowe’s Companies

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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