Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $168.00 target price on the home improvement retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Home Depot’s spectacular past performance has helped it to surpass the industry in the past year. The company has been consistently gaining from its interconnected strategy, focus on Pro customers, and housing market recovery. These factors helped the company post a stellar second-quarter fiscal 2017 performance, which marked its highest ever quarterly sales and earnings. Notably, sales marked its 13th straight beat, while earnings retained its 5-year long trend of positive surprise. Results were driven by solid growth across all regions, both in stores and online. Also, Pro category sales continued to outperform, driven by constant efforts to enrich customers’ experiences. The sturdy first half and expectations of improved home prices encouraged the company to raise its fiscal 2017 view. However, gross margin remained plateaued, and is likely to fall 10 bps in fiscal 2017. Also, competition from online retailers may impact results.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on HD. UBS AG reiterated a buy rating and issued a $175.00 price target (up previously from $173.00) on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and issued a $182.00 price target on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Wedbush reiterated a market perform rating on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and issued a $178.00 price target on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Home Depot, Inc. (The) in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, nineteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $169.82.

Shares of Home Depot, Inc. (HD) traded up 0.42% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $150.50. 1,474,331 shares of the stock traded hands. Home Depot, Inc. has a 52-week low of $119.20 and a 52-week high of $160.86. The company has a market cap of $177.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.66 and a beta of 1.08. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $150.51 and a 200-day moving average of $150.83.

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 15th. The home improvement retailer reported $2.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.21 by $0.04. Home Depot, Inc. (The) had a net margin of 8.63% and a return on equity of 192.30%. The company had revenue of $28.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.84 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.97 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Home Depot, Inc. will post $7.32 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 Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 31st will be paid a $0.89 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $3.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.38%. Home Depot, Inc. (The)’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.15%.

In other Home Depot, Inc. (The) news, EVP Teresa Wynn Roseborough sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.39, for a total value of $2,255,850.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,984,977.33. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Ann Marie Campbell sold 10,717 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.40, for a total transaction of $1,633,270.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 64,810 shares in the company, valued at $9,877,044. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 2,013.2% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,319,727 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $509,247,000 after buying an additional 3,162,631 shares during the period. Boston Partners bought a new position in Home Depot, Inc. (The) during the first quarter worth $326,895,000. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 15,121.1% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,865,037 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $12,158,000 after buying an additional 1,852,784 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Home Depot, Inc. (The) by 43.4% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 5,731,806 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $841,602,000 after buying an additional 1,734,963 shares during the period. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP bought a new position in Home Depot, Inc. (The) during the second quarter worth $133,780,000. 71.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Home Depot, Inc. (The)

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 serves three primary customer groups: do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers and professional customers.

Analyst Recommendations for Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD)

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