Stephens Raises Lendingtree (TREE) Price Target to $420.00
Lendingtree (NASDAQ:TREE) had its target price lifted by stock analysts at Stephens from $385.00 to $420.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Stephens’ price objective indicates a potential upside of 8.20% from the stock’s previous close. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.
TREE has been the topic of several other research reports. SunTrust Banks began coverage on Lendingtree in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $425.00 price objective on shares of Lendingtree in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded Lendingtree from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday. ValuEngine lowered Lendingtree from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares began coverage on Lendingtree in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $325.00 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Lendingtree has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $311.33.
Shares of Lendingtree stock traded up $5.62 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $388.17. The company had a trading volume of 68,310 shares, compared to its average volume of 231,817. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,650.79, a price-to-earnings ratio of 121.75, a P/E/G ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 1.66. Lendingtree has a 52-week low of $115.50 and a 52-week high of $404.40. The company has a current ratio of 2.97, a quick ratio of 2.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81.
Lendingtree declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 22nd that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, Director Steven Ozonian sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $360.00, for a total transaction of $180,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,879 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,196,440. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Douglas R. Lebda sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $331.10, for a total value of $2,648,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 389,318 shares in the company, valued at approximately $128,903,189.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 101,654 shares of company stock worth $34,611,677 in the last quarter. Insiders own 21.90% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in TREE. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lendingtree by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 880,746 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $299,851,000 after acquiring an additional 15,596 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Square Partners LLC increased its stake in Lendingtree by 0.3% in the third quarter. Jackson Square Partners LLC now owns 549,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $134,349,000 after purchasing an additional 1,853 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Lendingtree by 55.6% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 221,383 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $54,117,000 after purchasing an additional 79,065 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Lendingtree by 38.7% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 179,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,952,000 after purchasing an additional 50,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Lendingtree by 738.0% in the fourth quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 143,850 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $48,974,000 after purchasing an additional 126,684 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.02% of the company’s stock.
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LendingTree, Inc (LendingTree) is engaged in operating an online loan marketplace for consumers seeking loans and other credit-based offerings. The Company’s online marketplace provides consumers with access to product offerings from various lenders, which it refers to as Network Lenders, including mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, reverse mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, student loans, small business loans and other related offerings.
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