Today: Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) gets Sell status at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) gets Sell status at The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma’s third-quarter fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.6%. Earnings also increased 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Net sales rose 1.1% year over year on double-digit revenue growth at West Elm, its newer businesses and international company owned businesses. However, comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment. All the brands, except for West Elm, reported soft comparable brand revenues. Williams-Sonoma has even lowered the high end of fiscal 2016 earnings guidance. Though the company expects its growth initiatives to drive revenue, we await better visibility. “

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on WSM. Vetr raised Williams-Sonoma from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $58.75 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Wedbush reissued a neutral rating and issued a $53.00 price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Barclays PLC reissued an underweight rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Friday, August 12th. Nomura set a $75.00 price target on Williams-Sonoma and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $56.00 price target (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Williams-Sonoma in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $57.16.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) opened at 54.63 on Wednesday. Williams-Sonoma has a 12 month low of $45.96 and a 12 month high of $64.57. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $49.41 and a 200-day moving average price of $51.45. The firm has a market cap of $4.81 billion, a PE ratio of 16.25 and a beta of 0.84.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 17th. The company reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.25 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 26.59% and a net margin of 5.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.77 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Williams-Sonoma will post $3.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Thursday, October 27th were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 25th. Williams-Sonoma’s payout ratio is currently 44.18%.

In other Williams-Sonoma news, insider Janet Hayes sold 15,027 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.74, for a total transaction of $747,442.98. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 32,776 shares in the company, valued at $1,630,278.24. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider James W. Jr. Brett sold 16,355 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.49, for a total transaction of $891,183.95. Following the sale, the insider now owns 24,978 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,361,051.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of WSM. World Asset Management Inc increased its stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 0.6% in the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,646 shares of the company’s stock valued at $242,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 0.4% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 37,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,927,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the period. Forward Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 2.8% in the third quarter. Forward Management LLC now owns 6,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $325,000 after buying an additional 175 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 0.4% in the third quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 41,588 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,125,000 after buying an additional 183 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Williams-Sonoma by 3.6% in the second quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 5,537 shares of the company’s stock valued at $288,000 after buying an additional 192 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.98% of the company’s stock.

Williams-Sonoma Company Profile

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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