Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $147.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Estee Lauder has surpassed the industry over a year, gaining from its solid focus on buyouts and product launches; strength in emerging markets and robust online business. Driven by these efforts, Estee Lauder marked its 13th and 3rd straight earnings and sales beat, respectively in first-quarter fiscal 2018, wherein both top and bottom lines grew year over year. Results were aided by contributions from BECCA and Too Faced. Moreover, the company witnessed strength across nearly all regions and product categories, with skin care and China standing out. Growth in travel retail and online channels also remained strong. Management expects continued growth opportunities in the global prestige beauty industry, which encouraged it to raise its outlook. However, soft retail traffic in the United States remains a hurdle. Also, management remains cautious about other economic and political issues that can affect consumer spending.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Oppenheimer reiterated a buy rating and issued a $120.00 price objective (up previously from $110.00) on shares of Estee Lauder Companies in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Royal Bank of Canada set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies from $114.00 to $121.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, KeyCorp set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Estee Lauder Companies and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $117.33.

Estee Lauder Companies (EL) traded down $0.56 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $128.53. 1,465,988 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,570,000. The firm has a market cap of $47,330.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.74, a PEG ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a current ratio of 1.75, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71. Estee Lauder Companies has a 1 year low of $78.10 and a 1 year high of $132.49.

Estee Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.24. The firm had revenue of $3.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.16 billion. Estee Lauder Companies had a net margin of 11.30% and a return on equity of 33.64%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.85 EPS. research analysts expect that Estee Lauder Companies will post 4.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 30th were paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. This is a positive change from Estee Lauder Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 29th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.18%. Estee Lauder Companies’s dividend payout ratio is 41.08%.

In related news, Director Richard F. Zannino sold 23,312 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.23, for a total transaction of $2,779,489.76. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,669,220. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Alexandra C. Trower sold 25,446 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.39, for a total transaction of $3,063,443.94. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $930,855.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,566,381 shares of company stock worth $195,955,337. 16.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Moors & Cabot Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 3,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $365,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Glenview Trust Co boosted its holdings in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 2,744 shares of the company’s stock worth $263,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the period. Williams Jones & Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 6,865 shares of the company’s stock worth $659,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Wealthsource Partners LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC now owns 3,092 shares of the company’s stock worth $297,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the period. Finally, Comerica Securities Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Estee Lauder Companies by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 9,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $950,000 after buying an additional 182 shares during the period. 53.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Estee Lauder Companies

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company offers products, including skin care, makeup, fragrance, hair care and other. The Company operates in beauty products segment. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, MAC, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced.

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