Citigroup started coverage on shares of Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW – Free Report) in a report released on Thursday, Briefing.com reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $132.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.
Several other brokerages have also issued reports on LW. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Lamb Weston from $115.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their target price on Lamb Weston from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on Lamb Weston in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. They issued an overweight rating and a $120.00 target price for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on Lamb Weston from $129.00 to $127.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, StockNews.com lowered Lamb Weston from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus target price of $127.11.
Lamb Weston Stock Up 0.6 %
Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW – Get Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The specialty retailer reported $1.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.70 billion. Lamb Weston had a net margin of 17.71% and a return on equity of 63.19%. Lamb Weston’s revenue for the quarter was up 35.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.28 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Lamb Weston will post 5.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Lamb Weston announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, October 11th that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the specialty retailer to buy up to 4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
Lamb Weston Increases Dividend
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 2nd will be paid a $0.36 dividend. This is a positive change from Lamb Weston’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.36%. Lamb Weston’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.73%.
Institutional Trading of Lamb Weston
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LW. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Lamb Weston by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,085,009 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $963,653,000 after buying an additional 198,274 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Lamb Weston by 4.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,135,707 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,280,050,000 after acquiring an additional 494,634 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Lamb Weston by 2.7% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,827,657 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $669,889,000 after purchasing an additional 154,165 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Lamb Weston by 2.3% during the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 3,417,548 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $315,986,000 after purchasing an additional 77,937 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Lamb Weston by 2.0% during the second quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,103,523 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $356,012,000 after purchasing an additional 59,604 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.77% of the company’s stock.
About Lamb Weston
Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc produces, distributes, and markets frozen potato products worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Global, Foodservice, Retail, and Other. It offers frozen potatoes, commercial ingredients, and appetizers under the Lamb Weston brand, as well as under various customer labels.
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