Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday, May 28th. They currently have $68.00 price target on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “For 2018, Armstrong World expects net sales to grow 5-7% aided by a modest upturn in volume and average unit value (AUV) improvement. The company raised EPS guidance to $3.60-$3.82, reflecting a 19-27% growth year over year. Results will also be supported by price increases, strong repair and remodel activity along with the continuation of positive new building construction activity. Productivity improvements in plants and focus on restructuring activities will aid the bottom line. Also, continued sales leverage and capital investments at Tectum will fortify its Architectural Specialty business. Moreover, investment in new products, segment reclassification and strong balance sheet will drive Armstrong World’s growth. Over the past year, the stock has outperformed the industry.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on AWI. SunTrust Banks reissued a buy rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of Armstrong World Industries in a report on Monday, February 26th. Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Armstrong World Industries in a report on Thursday, March 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Armstrong World Industries from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Armstrong World Industries from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $62.75.

Shares of Armstrong World Industries traded down $0.05, reaching $63.50, during midday trading on Monday, Marketbeat.com reports. 226,700 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 397,426. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.01, a quick ratio of 2.20 and a current ratio of 2.44. The company has a market capitalization of $3.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 1.71. Armstrong World Industries has a 1 year low of $43.40 and a 1 year high of $65.00.

Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 30th. The construction company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.81 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $227.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $231.35 million. Armstrong World Industries had a return on equity of 41.44% and a net margin of 13.54%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.55 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Armstrong World Industries will post 3.71 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP David S. Cookson sold 27,336 shares of Armstrong World Industries stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.00, for a total transaction of $1,722,168.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 33,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,096,703. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 1.94% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Gates Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Armstrong World Industries during the fourth quarter valued at $81,031,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in Armstrong World Industries by 106.8% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 598,200 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $36,221,000 after purchasing an additional 308,900 shares during the period. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT lifted its position in Armstrong World Industries by 3.9% during the fourth quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 4,631,998 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $280,467,000 after purchasing an additional 174,186 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. lifted its position in Armstrong World Industries by 428.6% during the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 213,087 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $11,996,000 after purchasing an additional 172,773 shares during the period. Finally, First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Armstrong World Industries by 12.9% in the first quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 1,245,178 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $70,104,000 after acquiring an additional 142,645 shares during the period.

About Armstrong World Industries

Armstrong World Industries, Inc designs, manufactures, and sells ceiling systems primarily for use in the construction and renovation of residential and commercial buildings worldwide. It principally offers mineral fiber, fiberglass wool, and metal ceiling systems. The company produces suspended mineral fiber and soft fiber ceiling systems; suspension system (grid) and ceiling component products; and acoustical ceiling, wall, and structural solutions.

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