Utah Retirement Systems lessened its holdings in shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) by 4.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 157,248 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock after selling 6,600 shares during the quarter. Utah Retirement Systems’ holdings in Lowe’s Companies were worth $12,192,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of LOW. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 1,757.3% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,377,883 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,045,875,000 after purchasing an additional 58,073,138 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 204.0% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,018,171 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $659,174,000 after purchasing an additional 5,380,759 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 63,871,103 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $5,250,843,000 after purchasing an additional 2,650,045 shares in the last quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 33.8% during the 1st quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC now owns 5,452,659 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $448,263,000 after purchasing an additional 1,376,540 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Scopus Asset Management L.P. grew its stake in Lowe’s Companies by 866.7% during the 1st quarter. Scopus Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,450,000 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $119,205,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.11% of the company’s stock.

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

A number of brokerages have weighed in on LOW. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price objective (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Gordon Haskett began coverage on Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. They set an “accumulate” rating and a $88.00 price objective for the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Lowe’s Companies in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lowe’s Companies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Lowe’s Companies presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $85.32.

Shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE LOW) opened at 81.11 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $67.55 billion, a PE ratio of 23.03 and a beta of 1.07. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has a 52-week low of $64.87 and a 52-week high of $86.25. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $78.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $79.37.

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 23rd. The home improvement retailer reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.62 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $19.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $19.58 billion. Lowe’s Companies had a return on equity of 62.02% and a net margin of 4.51%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.37 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will post $4.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 24th. Lowe’s Companies’s payout ratio is currently 46.20%.

About Lowe’s Companies

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lowe`s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

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