Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Estee Lauder Companies’ aggressive marketing investments and continued product innovation are encouraging.  The company has been reporting higher top line and margins backed by its strategic initiatives. Going ahead, the company’s strategic initiatives to boost sales and the growing global beauty sector are expected to boost results. Though Estee Lauder expects growth opportunities in product categories in fiscal 2017, economic challenges will likely persist. Hence the company remained cautious while providing its guidance for the year.”

Analyst Recommendations for Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL)

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on EL. B. Riley restated a neutral rating and set a $86.00 price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated a hold rating on shares of Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Saturday, June 4th. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Friday, September 9th. They set a buy rating and a $105.00 price objective on the stock. Credit Agricole SA restated a buy rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Friday, September 16th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $100.00 target price (up from $98.00) on shares of Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Friday, July 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of C$100.97.

Shares of Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) opened at 88.74 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $90.48 and its 200 day moving average is $92.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.95. Estee Lauder Companies has a 12 month low of $77.05 and a 12 month high of $97.48.

Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 19th. The company reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.15. Estee Lauder Companies had a return on equity of 33.20% and a net margin of 9.90%. The firm had revenue of $2.65 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.40 EPS. Estee Lauder Companies’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Estee Lauder Companies will post ($0.06) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st were given a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. Estee Lauder Companies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 40.40%.

In other news, EVP Gregory Polcer sold 3,602 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$88.01, for a total transaction of C$317,012.02. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 78,064 shares in the company, valued at C$6,870,412.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Fabrizio Freda sold 15,975 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$90.84, for a total value of C$1,451,169.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 73,174 shares in the company, valued at C$6,647,126.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 16.87% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC raised its position in Estee Lauder Companies by 42.8% in the second quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,144 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 343 shares in the last quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new position in Estee Lauder Companies during the second quarter worth approximately $110,000. Creative Planning raised its position in Estee Lauder Companies by 151.1% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 766 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Estee Lauder Companies by 71.8% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,347 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 563 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Estee Lauder Companies by 137.5% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 836 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 55.36% of the company’s stock.

About Estee Lauder Companies

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc, is a manufacturer and marketer of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under a number of brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Origins, Le Labo, M.A.C, Bobbi Brown, La Mer and Aveda.

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