Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Home Depot (HD) to Sell
Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Home Depot has underperformed the industry in the past three months. Further, commodity cost inflation in various categories, including rising raw material and transportation costs as well as recently enacted tariffs are likely to pressure margins. Evidently, gross margin in second-quarter fiscal 2018 included negative impacts from higher transportation and fuel costs in its supply chain. Also, management has slightly trimmed its gross margin forecast for fiscal 2018 due to the higher-than-anticipated transportation costs. Additionally, intense competition from specialty stores and mass retailers may prove to be deterrents. However, it has a five-year long trend of beating earnings estimates. Driven by solid first-half fiscal 2018 performance, the company raised fiscal 2018 guidance. Also, its relentless focus on affording innovative products, boosting interconnected customer experience and driving productivity remains encouraging.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on HD. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Home Depot from $212.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 20th. ValuEngine raised shares of Home Depot from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Loop Capital set a $200.00 target price on shares of Home Depot and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Home Depot from $205.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $203.00 target price on shares of Home Depot in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $206.68.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 14th. The home improvement retailer reported $3.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.84 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $30.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.04 billion. Home Depot had a net margin of 9.45% and a return on equity of 522.68%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Home Depot will post 9.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, EVP William G. Lennie sold 10,854 shares of Home Depot stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $201.64, for a total transaction of $2,188,600.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 40,057 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,077,093.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Matt Carey sold 4,125 shares of Home Depot stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $195.43, for a total transaction of $806,148.75. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 60,179 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,760,781.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Viridian Ria LLC grew its stake in shares of Home Depot by 12.1% in the second quarter. Viridian Ria LLC now owns 2,355 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $465,000 after acquiring an additional 255 shares during the period. Nadler Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Home Depot by 11.6% in the second quarter. Nadler Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,545 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $496,000 after acquiring an additional 264 shares during the period. Eagle Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Home Depot by 1.4% in the third quarter. Eagle Capital Management LLC now owns 19,839 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $4,110,000 after acquiring an additional 265 shares during the period. Exencial Wealth Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Home Depot by 6.5% in the second quarter. Exencial Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 4,385 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $856,000 after acquiring an additional 266 shares during the period. Finally, Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC grew its stake in shares of Home Depot by 11.2% in the second quarter. Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC now owns 2,712 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock worth $529,000 after acquiring an additional 273 shares during the period. 69.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Home Depot
The Home Depot, Inc operates as a home improvement retailer. It operates The Home Depot stores that sell various building materials, home improvement products, lawn and garden products, and décor products, as well as provide installation, home maintenance, and professional service programs to do-it-yourself and professional customers.
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