Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 21,236 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 152% compared to the average volume of 8,438 call options.

Several research firms recently issued reports on LOW. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Robert W. Baird set a $87.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 price target (down previously from $83.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $85.00.

Lowe’s Companies (LOW) opened at 79.23 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $76.25 and its 200 day moving average is $79.59. Lowe’s Companies has a 1-year low of $64.87 and a 1-year high of $86.25. The company has a market cap of $65.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.50 and a beta of 1.07.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be paid a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 24th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.07%. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.20%.

In other Lowe’s Companies news, SVP Matthew V. Hollifield sold 7,853 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.30, for a total transaction of $614,889.90. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 30,750 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,407,725. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul D. Ramsay sold 2,098 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total transaction of $163,685.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 8,400 shares in the company, valued at approximately $655,368. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Lowe’s Companies by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,236 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 3,346 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. raised its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 2,392 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,927 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $405,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Lowe’s Companies by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 5,844 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $453,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. 74.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Lowe’s Companies Company Profile

Lowe’s Companies, Inc (Lowe’s) is a 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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