PulteGroup (PHM) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of PulteGroup have outperformed its industry in the past three months. Meanwhile, Earnings estimates for the fourth quarter have declined but remained stable for 2018 over the past seven days. PulteGroup continues to benefit from its land acquisition strategies that have resulted in improved volumes, revenues and profitability for quite some time now. Continued favorable trends in the economy and job growth are expected to more than offset the negative impact of modestly higher rates and rising material costs. However, lumber and labor inflation, which is likely to impact fourth-quarter gross margin, poses significant risk. Concerns surrounding affordability and rising mortgage rates have been putting up hurdles for homebuilders.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Bank of America set a $32.00 target price on PulteGroup and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. Barclays set a $30.00 target price on PulteGroup and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. Citigroup decreased their target price on PulteGroup from $32.00 to $26.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. Mizuho set a $28.00 target price on PulteGroup and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $24.00 target price (down from $34.00) on shares of PulteGroup in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $30.67.

Shares of PulteGroup stock traded down $0.44 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $28.51. 106,387 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,586,033. PulteGroup has a 12-month low of $20.64 and a 12-month high of $35.21. The firm has a market cap of $7.64 billion, a PE ratio of 13.16, a P/E/G ratio of 0.43 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.56.

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The construction company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.06. PulteGroup had a return on equity of 21.98% and a net margin of 8.63%. The firm had revenue of $2.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.62 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 24.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that PulteGroup will post 3.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were paid a dividend of $0.11 per share. This is an increase from PulteGroup’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.09. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.54%. PulteGroup’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.09%.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Argyle Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of PulteGroup by 11.2% during the 3rd quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. now owns 93,950 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $2,327,000 after acquiring an additional 9,500 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. grew its stake in shares of PulteGroup by 1,428.6% during the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 10,700 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $316,000 after acquiring an additional 10,000 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of PulteGroup by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 59,561 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,711,000 after acquiring an additional 3,626 shares during the period. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of PulteGroup during the 3rd quarter worth $259,000. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in shares of PulteGroup by 53.9% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,096,979 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $151,022,000 after acquiring an additional 2,136,034 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.69% of the company’s stock.

About PulteGroup

PulteGroup, Inc, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the homebuilding business in the United States. The company is involved in the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes; and the construction of housing on such land. It offers various home designs, including single-family detached, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes under the Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods names.

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