Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, Benzinga reports. Stifel Nicolaus currently has $149.00 price objective on the home improvement retailer’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $94.00.

LOW has been the subject of a number of other reports. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Wednesday. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a report on Wednesday. Nomura Securities raised their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $100.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on shares of Lowe’s Companies from $131.00 to $106.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Lowe’s Companies from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, March 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twenty-seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $132.54.

Shares of LOW stock traded up $1.61 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $122.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,063,492 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,207,421. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $101.42 and its 200-day simple moving average is $110.02. Lowe’s Companies has a 12-month low of $60.00 and a 12-month high of $126.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.14, a current ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 14.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $91.08 billion, a PE ratio of 20.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 1.38.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 20th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.45. The business had revenue of $19.68 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.33 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a net margin of 6.17% and a return on equity of 220.44%. The business’s revenue was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.22 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Lowe’s Companies will post 5.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 6th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 22nd were issued a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 21st. Lowe’s Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.46%.

In other Lowe’s Companies news, CEO Marvin R. Ellison purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $103.86 per share, with a total value of $1,038,600.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 90,090 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,356,747.40. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 16.6% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,274,455 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $109,667,000 after purchasing an additional 181,114 shares during the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 24,593 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $2,116,000 after purchasing an additional 171 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 5.8% in the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 156,416 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $13,460,000 after purchasing an additional 8,553 shares during the last quarter. Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 3.7% in the 1st quarter. Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC now owns 23,163 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $1,993,000 after purchasing an additional 826 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cim Investment Mangement Inc. lifted its position in Lowe’s Companies by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. Cim Investment Mangement Inc. now owns 5,732 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $493,000 after purchasing an additional 191 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.15% of the company’s stock.

About Lowe’s Companies

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 lumber and building materials, appliances, seasonal and outdoor living, tools and hardware, fashion fixtures, rough plumbing and electrical, paint, millwork, lawn and garden, flooring, and kitchens.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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