Masco (MAS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Masco (NYSE:MAS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Masco’s shares have declined over the past six months, almost on par with the industry's fall. Earnings estimates have also been trending downward for 2019 over the past 30 days, raising analyst's concern surrounding the company's eanings growth potential. Higher raw material and ERP costs, as well as logistics expenses pose significant threats to the company's margins. Notably, Masco’s adjusted gross and operating margins contracted 250 basis points (bps) and 190 bps, respectively, in the first nine months of 2018. Nevertheless, increased repair and remodeling activity (accounting for 84% of its total sales) are expected to generate higher revenues. Also, the company's inorganic strategies and cost-saving initiatives are likely improve profitability going forward.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Robert W. Baird set a $42.00 price objective on Masco and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Argus set a $43.00 price objective on Masco and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Nomura set a $40.00 price objective on Masco and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. SunTrust Banks reduced their price objective on Masco to $40.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Masco in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $41.13.

Shares of MAS traded up $0.22 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $33.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 114,840 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,051,626. Masco has a one year low of $27.03 and a one year high of $43.74. The company has a current ratio of 1.71, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 14.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.22, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.44.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 11th. Investors of record on Friday, January 11th will be paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 10th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.44%. Masco’s payout ratio is 24.74%.

In other Masco news, insider Richard A. O’reagan sold 12,900 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.48, for a total transaction of $406,092.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 61,443 shares in the company, valued at $1,934,225.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard A. Manoogian sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.98, for a total value of $3,098,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 625,961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $19,392,271.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 162,900 shares of company stock valued at $5,069,092 over the last 90 days. 1.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Reinhart Partners Inc. raised its stake in Masco by 94.3% during the third quarter. Reinhart Partners Inc. now owns 711,754 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $26,050,000 after acquiring an additional 345,346 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its holdings in shares of Masco by 4.6% during the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 175,664 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $6,430,000 after purchasing an additional 7,780 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Masco by 1.3% during the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 1,016,292 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $37,196,000 after purchasing an additional 13,231 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp bought a new stake in shares of Masco during the third quarter worth $343,000. Finally, Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Masco by 9.1% during the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 23,400 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $684,000 after purchasing an additional 1,950 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.06% of the company’s stock.

About Masco

Masco Corporation designs, manufactures, and distributes home improvement and building products worldwide. Its Plumbing Products segment offers faucets, showerheads, handheld showers, valves, bath hardware and accessories, bathing units, shower enclosures, toilets, acrylic tubs, shower trays, spas products, exercise pools, brass and copper plumbing system components, and other non-decorative plumbing products.

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