Williams-Sonoma (WSM) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma has been reporting soft comparable brand revenues for some time now due to soft retail environment and cautious consumer spending pattern. Although the company has been working hard on the repositioning of the brand and has developed initiatives to implement across all areas of the business from product to value to marketing, we wait for better visibility. Moreover, continued e-commerce and supply chain investments weigh on operating margins. Meanwhile, although shares of Williams-Sonoma have outperformed its industry so far this year, the trend in current-year earnings estimate revisions is not satisfactory as it remained stable over the past 30 days.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Moffett Nathanson initiated coverage on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a neutral rating for the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Sunday, November 19th. Bank of America cut their target price on shares of Williams-Sonoma from $40.00 to $38.00 and set an underperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Friday, November 17th. They issued a hold rating and a $48.00 target price for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a hold rating on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Williams-Sonoma has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.25.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE WSM) opened at $55.49 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $4,670.00, a P/E ratio of 15.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.89. Williams-Sonoma has a 12-month low of $42.68 and a 12-month high of $55.89.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The specialty retailer reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84. The business had revenue of $1.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Williams-Sonoma had a net margin of 5.94% and a return on equity of 25.45%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.78 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Williams-Sonoma will post 3.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 24th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.81%. Williams-Sonoma’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.19%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WSM. Ffcm LLC bought a new position in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 3rd quarter valued at $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 10.4% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,911 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $141,000 after purchasing an additional 274 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. bought a new position in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 2nd quarter valued at $182,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 2nd quarter valued at $207,000. Finally, High Falls Advisors Inc raised its holdings in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. High Falls Advisors Inc now owns 4,343 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $211,000 after purchasing an additional 312 shares in the last quarter.

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About Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma, Inc is a multi-channel specialty retailer of products for the home. The Company operates retail stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and the United Kingdom. It operates through two segments: e-commerce and retail. The e-commerce segment has various merchandising strategies, such as Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, PBteen, Williams-Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham, which sell its products through the Company’s e-commerce Websites and direct-mail catalogs.

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