Home Depot (NYSE:HD) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday, February 6th. The firm currently has $205.00 target price on the home improvement retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Home Depot’s five-year long trend of beating earnings estimates led it to outperform the industry in the past year. The company delivered bottom-line beat in third-quarter fiscal 2017, while sales topped estimates for the fifth straight quarter. Further, the company has been gaining from strength in core business and relentless focus on affording innovative products, along with interconnected customer experience and driving productivity. Steady housing market recovery and strong customer demand are also boosting the company’s performance. Further, it raised top and bottom-line guidance for fiscal 2017, based on the solid year-to-date performance and anticipated gains from hurricane recovery activities. While hurricane-related activities aided comps growth, gross margins on such sales were significantly below average. This led to a decline in gross margin, which is likely to continue in fiscal 2017. Of late, estimates have been stable.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Argus lifted their target price on shares of Home Depot from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. BMO Capital Markets set a $176.00 target price on shares of Home Depot and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. UBS Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $186.00 price target (up from $175.00) on shares of Home Depot in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Robert W. Baird set a $185.00 target price on shares of Home Depot and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $178.00 target price on shares of Home Depot and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twenty-three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $190.32.

Home Depot (HD) traded down $1.08 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $183.61. 1,261,088 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,139,814. Home Depot has a 12 month low of $140.90 and a 12 month high of $207.60. The firm has a market cap of $215,650.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.47, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 9.54, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 1.23.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 14th. The home improvement retailer reported $1.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.81 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $25.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.53 billion. Home Depot had a net margin of 8.66% and a return on equity of 238.88%. Home Depot’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.60 EPS. analysts predict that Home Depot will post 7.38 EPS for the current year.

Home Depot announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, December 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase $15.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the home improvement retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP Matt Carey sold 41,396 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.03, for a total value of $7,576,709.88. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 29,559 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,410,183.77. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.26% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HD. Jacobi Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Home Depot by 16.4% during the second quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 717 shares of the home improvement retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 101 shares during the period. Ford Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Home Depot during the fourth quarter valued at $108,000. Earnest Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Home Depot in the fourth quarter valued at $108,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Home Depot in the fourth quarter valued at $112,000. Finally, Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Home Depot in the fourth quarter valued at $133,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.34% of the company’s stock.

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Home Depot Company Profile

The Home Depot, Inc (The Home Depot) is a home improvement retailer. The Company sells an assortment of building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products, and provides various services. The Home Depot stores serves three primary customer groups: do-it-yourself (DIY) customers, do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers and professional customers.

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