L Brands (NYSE:LB) Shares Gap Down Following Analyst Downgrade

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L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) gapped down prior to trading on Friday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $34.00 to $18.00. The stock had previously closed at $20.45, but opened at $19.33. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. L Brands shares last traded at $17.69, with a volume of 8,373,738 shares changing hands.

Several other research firms have also commented on LB. Wells Fargo & Co set a $35.00 price target on shares of L Brands and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of L Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of L Brands from $27.00 to $21.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $21.00 price objective (down from $30.00) on shares of L Brands in a research report on Friday. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group cut their price objective on shares of L Brands from $24.00 to $22.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. L Brands currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.61.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Marshall Wace North America L.P. grew its holdings in L Brands by 236.8% during the first quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 133,024 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,669,000 after purchasing an additional 93,522 shares during the period. Davy Asset Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of L Brands in the second quarter worth about $1,973,000. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of L Brands by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,977,260 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $76,373,000 after buying an additional 95,224 shares in the last quarter. Barings LLC purchased a new stake in shares of L Brands in the first quarter worth about $598,000. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of L Brands in the first quarter worth about $235,000. Institutional investors own 71.65% of the company’s stock.

The company has a market capitalization of $5.48 billion, a PE ratio of 6.28, a P/E/G ratio of 0.75 and a beta of 0.69. The business has a 50-day moving average of $24.48 and a 200 day moving average of $25.27.

L Brands (NYSE:LB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 21st. The specialty retailer reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.19 by $0.05. L Brands had a negative return on equity of 74.29% and a net margin of 4.81%. The business had revenue of $2.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.95 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.36 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts expect that L Brands Inc will post 2.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.78%. L Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.55%.

About L Brands (NYSE:LB)

L Brands, Inc operates as a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products, home fragrance products, and accessories. The company operates in three segments: Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works International.

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