Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was the target of a large decline in short interest in the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 7,360,000 shares, a decline of 19.3% from the March 15th total of 9,120,000 shares. Currently, 1.0% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 4,020,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days.
In other news, Director David H. Batchelder acquired 6,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 26th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $159.48 per share, with a total value of $996,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LOW. FMR LLC raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 10.7% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 30,352,415 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $4,871,866,000 after buying an additional 2,940,777 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Lowe’s Companies during the 4th quarter worth $1,285,445,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 17.8% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,502,725 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $1,043,751,000 after buying an additional 982,465 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 15.6% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,819,866 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $934,149,000 after buying an additional 783,731 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Lowe’s Companies by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,860,084 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $459,076,000 after buying an additional 37,586 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.11% of the company’s stock.
NYSE LOW opened at $208.25 on Monday. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $179.71 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $169.04. The stock has a market cap of $149.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.37. Lowe’s Companies has a 12-month low of $91.49 and a 12-month high of $208.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.20.
Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $20.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $19.54 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 6.29% and a return on equity of 211.33%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.94 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Lowe’s Companies will post 8.7 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 5th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 20th. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.96%.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Gordon Haskett upgraded Lowe’s Companies from an “accumulate” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $202.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, March 3rd. Atlantic Securities upgraded Lowe’s Companies from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $240.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 14th. Zelman & Associates cut Lowe’s Companies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Citigroup assumed coverage on Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Monday, March 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $195.00 price objective on the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $182.29.
Lowe’s Companies Company Profile
Lowe’s Companies, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company offers a line of products for construction, maintenance, repair, remodeling, and decorating. It provides home improvement products in various categories, such as appliances, dÃ©cor, paint, hardware, millwork, lawn and garden, lighting, lumber and building materials, flooring, kitchens and bath, rough plumbing and electrical, seasonal and outdoor living, and tools.