L Brands (LB) Shares Gap Down Following Analyst Downgrade

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) gapped down before the market opened on Friday after Buckingham Research downgraded the stock from a buy rating to a neutral rating. The stock had previously closed at $50.06, but opened at $51.00. Buckingham Research now has a $43.00 price target on the stock. L Brands shares last traded at $50.47, with a volume of 3704057 shares.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. FBR & Co set a $60.00 target price on L Brands and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of L Brands in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of L Brands in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Goldman Sachs Group set a $59.00 price target on L Brands and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $55.00 price target on L Brands and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.80.

In other news, Director David T. Kollat bought 9,910 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $50.34 per share, with a total value of $498,869.40. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 158,878 shares in the company, valued at $7,997,918.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 16.68% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of L Brands by 4,925.7% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,703,014 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $91,776,000 after acquiring an additional 1,669,128 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in shares of L Brands by 328.4% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,240,439 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $51,615,000 after acquiring an additional 950,859 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC grew its holdings in shares of L Brands by 29.0% during the 3rd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 4,156,510 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $172,952,000 after acquiring an additional 935,259 shares in the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG grew its holdings in shares of L Brands by 81.2% during the 3rd quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 2,054,020 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $85,468,000 after acquiring an additional 920,710 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Scharf Investments LLC grew its holdings in shares of L Brands by 24.9% during the 3rd quarter. Scharf Investments LLC now owns 3,875,215 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $161,248,000 after acquiring an additional 772,740 shares in the last quarter. 78.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -5.10, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 1.45. The stock has a market cap of $14,210.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.81.

L Brands (NYSE:LB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The specialty retailer reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.30. L Brands had a net margin of 7.73% and a negative return on equity of 101.19%. The business had revenue of $2.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.57 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.42 EPS. L Brands’s revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that L Brands Inc will post 3.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th were issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.77%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 22nd. L Brands’s dividend payout ratio is currently 73.17%.

L Brands declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, September 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to purchase up to 2.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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About L Brands

L Brands, Inc operates specialty retail business. The Company is focused on women’s intimate and other apparel, personal care, beauty and home fragrance categories. Its segments include Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works International. It sells its merchandise through company-owned specialty retail stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China, which are mall-based; through Websites, and through international franchise, license and wholesale partners.

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