Traders sold shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) on strength during trading on Friday following insider selling activity. $57.66 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $125.72 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $68.06 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Lowe’s Companies had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Lowe’s Companies traded up $0.19 for the day and closed at $78.23Specifically, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total value of $163,685.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 8,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $655,368. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on LOW. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Bank of America Corporation began coverage on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 price target on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $83.00 price target (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $80.00 price target (down previously from $83.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Lowe’s Companies has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $85.00.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $76.25 and a 200-day moving average price of $79.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $65.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.21 and a beta of 1.07.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.62 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $19.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.58 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 4.51% and a return on equity of 62.02%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.37 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will post $4.50 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 24th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.10%. Lowe’s Companies’s payout ratio is 46.20%.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Perigon Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 97.4% during the 2nd quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 27,822 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $2,157,000 after purchasing an additional 13,726 shares during the last quarter. Intl Fcstone Inc. bought a new position in Lowe’s Companies during the 2nd quarter valued at about $243,000. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC grew its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 81.0% during the 2nd quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 2,131,387 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $165,247,000 after purchasing an additional 953,787 shares during the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. bought a new position in Lowe’s Companies during the 2nd quarter valued at about $268,000. Finally, RNC Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC now owns 49,916 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $3,870,000 after purchasing an additional 439 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.20% of the company’s stock.

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About Lowe’s Companies

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a FORTUNE home improvement company. The Company operates approximately 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores. The Company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling and decorating. The Company offers home improvement products in categories, including Lumber and Building Materials; Tools and Hardware; Appliances; Fashion Fixtures; Rough Plumbing and Electrical; Lawn and Garden; Seasonal and Outdoor Living; Paint; Flooring; Millwork, and Kitchens.

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