Williams-Sonoma (WSM) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published 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.”

WSM has been the topic of several other reports. Bank of America cut their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $40.00 to $38.00 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded Williams-Sonoma from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $44.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Williams-Sonoma from an overweight rating to an underweight rating and set a $46.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Williams-Sonoma in a research report on Friday, November 17th. They set a hold rating and a $48.00 price target on the stock. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Williams-Sonoma currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.25.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) traded up $1.04 on Friday, reaching $55.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,296,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,006,637. The firm has a market cap of $4,670.87, a P/E ratio of 15.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 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 announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The specialty retailer reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.84. The company had revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 25.45% and a net margin of 5.94%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.78 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Williams-Sonoma will post 3.55 EPS for the current year.

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

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ffcm LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma during the 3rd quarter worth about $125,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 10.4% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,911 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 274 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. purchased a new position in Williams-Sonoma in the 2nd quarter valued at about $182,000. High Falls Advisors Inc lifted its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 7.7% in the 2nd quarter. High Falls Advisors Inc now owns 4,343 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 312 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fulton Bank N.A. purchased a new position in Williams-Sonoma in the 3rd quarter valued at about $229,000. 96.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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