Principal Financial Group Inc. Sells 31,765 Shares of Meritage Homes Co. (NYSE:MTH)

Principal Financial Group Inc. decreased its holdings in shares of Meritage Homes Co. (NYSE:MTH) by 8.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 339,819 shares of the construction company’s stock after selling 31,765 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.91% of Meritage Homes worth $32,963,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ grew its position in shares of Meritage Homes by 28.4% during the 2nd quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 35,700 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $3,359,000 after purchasing an additional 7,900 shares in the last quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Meritage Homes by 34.2% in the second quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 6,296 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $592,000 after purchasing an additional 1,603 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its stake in Meritage Homes by 4.1% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 939,728 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $88,409,000 after purchasing an additional 37,187 shares during the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in Meritage Homes by 5.8% in the third quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 18,100 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,756,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wiley BROS. Aintree Capital LLC bought a new stake in Meritage Homes in the third quarter worth $741,000. 95.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, Chairman Steven J. Hilton sold 38,087 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.28, for a total transaction of $4,581,104.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Steven J. Hilton sold 61,913 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.52, for a total transaction of $7,461,754.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 120,054 shares of company stock worth $14,275,963 over the last quarter. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on MTH shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Meritage Homes from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $158.00 to $143.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 14th. Zelman & Associates raised shares of Meritage Homes from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, December 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Meritage Homes from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, January 4th. Finally, KeyCorp upped their price objective on shares of Meritage Homes from $130.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 29th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Meritage Homes has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $120.25.

NYSE:MTH opened at $115.29 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $116.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $107.59. Meritage Homes Co. has a 52 week low of $79.00 and a 52 week high of $125.01. The company has a quick ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. The stock has a market cap of $4.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.77 and a beta of 1.69.

Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 27th. The construction company reported $5.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.45 by $0.80. Meritage Homes had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 25.40%. The business had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.19 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $2.84 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Meritage Homes Co. will post 19.15 earnings per share for the current year.

Meritage Homes Company Profile

Meritage Homes Corp. is a holding company, which engages in the development and sale of residential properties. It operates through two segments: Homebuilding and Financial Services. The Homebuilding segment acquires constructs and markets single-detached houses. The Financial Services segment includes the operations of the company’s subsidiary, Carefree Title.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH)

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