Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Home Depot (HD) to “Hold”

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Home Depot boasts a five-year long trend of beating earnings estimates, which continued in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018. Despite a sales miss in the fiscal fourth quarter, the company has delivered positive sales surprise in eight out of the last 10 quarters. Results gained from strength in both Pro and DIY categories. It also benefited from efforts to provide an interconnected shopping experience to customers, with localized and innovative products, and improved productivity. Moreover, the company outlined a solid view for fiscal 2019 and reaffirmed long-term financial targets. However, the company underperformed the industry in the past three months due to lower-than-expected sales and comps in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018. Tough comparisons, hurricane-related sales gains in the prior year, and unfavorable winter weather hurt comps. Additionally, the company’s top line was impacted by adverse currency and commodity cost inflation.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on HD. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “positive” rating on shares of Home Depot in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Home Depot from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 15th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $192.00 price target on shares of Home Depot in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Bank of America reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $202.00 price target on shares of Home Depot in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price target on Home Depot from $223.00 to $217.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Home Depot has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $204.71.

Shares of NYSE HD opened at $191.62 on Tuesday. Home Depot has a 1-year low of $158.09 and a 1-year high of $215.43. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $210.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 1.09.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 26th. The home improvement retailer reported $2.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.16 by $0.09. Home Depot had a return on equity of 1,441.05% and a net margin of 10.28%. The firm had revenue of $26.49 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $26.57 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.69 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Home Depot will post 10.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Home Depot declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, February 26th that allows the company to repurchase $15.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the home improvement retailer to buy up to 6.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, EVP Ann Marie Campbell sold 5,450 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $184.67, for a total transaction of $1,006,451.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 51,030 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,423,710.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Edward P. Decker sold 23,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.93, for a total value of $4,343,489.92. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 86,813 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,880,702.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 41,194 shares of company stock valued at $7,553,141. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HD. Abbot Financial Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Home Depot by 6.3% during the first quarter. Abbot Financial Management Inc. now owns 5,375 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $1,031,000 after purchasing an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Home Depot by 1.9% during the first quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 33,365 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $6,402,000 after purchasing an additional 636 shares during the last quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Home Depot during the first quarter valued at $382,000. KCM Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Home Depot by 1.5% during the first quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC now owns 123,853 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $23,766,000 after purchasing an additional 1,840 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hilltop Holdings Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Home Depot by 21.3% during the first quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 5,999 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $1,151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,055 shares during the last quarter. 70.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Featured Article: Are all No-Load Funds Equal?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Home Depot (HD)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

Receive News & Ratings for Home Depot Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Home Depot and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.