Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Universal Forest Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last month, shares of Universal Forest Products have outperformed the industry. We believe that strengthening demand in the U.S. construction market will bode well for Universal Forest Products in the long run. Enhancement of operating margin remains its primary area of focus. Also, rebuilding initiatives undertaken after the disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey will spur demand for products offered by the company. However, volatility in the lumber market is a concerning factor. Also, the company's exposure to headwinds including adverse foreign currency movements, geopolitical issues, higher costs & expenses and stiff competition might prove detrimental to its profitability in the quarters ahead.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Universal Forest Products from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Sidoti initiated coverage on shares of Universal Forest Products in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Universal Forest Products from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Universal Forest Products has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $105.50.

Shares of Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ UFPI) opened at 94.65 on Tuesday. Universal Forest Products has a 12-month low of $77.80 and a 12-month high of $108.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.78 and a beta of 1.84. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $84.52 and its 200-day moving average is $89.66.

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The construction company reported $1.64 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.85 by ($0.21). The business had revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.04 billion. Universal Forest Products had a net margin of 2.86% and a return on equity of 11.73%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 23.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.64 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Universal Forest Products will post $5.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Universal Forest Products news, insider Patrick M. Webster sold 1,500 shares of Universal Forest Products stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.80, for a total transaction of $133,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 59,915 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,320,452. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Patrick M. Webster sold 996 shares of Universal Forest Products stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.93, for a total transaction of $88,574.28. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 58,919 shares in the company, valued at $5,239,666.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 2.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,268,039 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $285,334,000 after purchasing an additional 82,962 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 2.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,821,981 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $159,077,000 after purchasing an additional 49,058 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 10.8% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 549,212 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $47,952,000 after purchasing an additional 53,700 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 17.6% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 434,215 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $37,911,000 after purchasing an additional 64,958 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Universal Forest Products by 27.2% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 414,770 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $40,871,000 after purchasing an additional 88,604 shares in the last quarter. 80.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, supplies wood, wood composite and other products to three primary markets, such as retail, construction and industrial. Its segments include North, South, West, Alternative Materials, International, idX Holdings, Inc (idX) and Corporate divisions.

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