Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) CEO Laura Alber sold 97,965 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.21, for a total value of $5,310,682.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 264,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,345,104.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.
Shares of WSM stock opened at $50.11 on Friday. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has a twelve month low of $42.68 and a twelve month high of $56.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,461.29, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.54, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.62, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25.
Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 14th. The specialty retailer reported $1.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.61 by $0.07. Williams-Sonoma had a return on equity of 26.06% and a net margin of 4.90%. The company had revenue of $1.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.65 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.55 EPS. Williams-Sonoma’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Williams-Sonoma, Inc. will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Williams-Sonoma announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, March 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $286.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 25th. Investors of record on Friday, April 27th will be issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 26th. This is a positive change from Williams-Sonoma’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Williams-Sonoma’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.49%.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ffcm LLC purchased a new stake in Williams-Sonoma in the third quarter worth $125,000. Rational Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Williams-Sonoma in the fourth quarter worth $171,000. Private Trust Co. NA purchased a new stake in Williams-Sonoma in the fourth quarter worth $203,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Williams-Sonoma by 49.1% in the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,340 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $224,000 after purchasing an additional 1,429 shares during the period. Finally, Quadrature Capital Ltd purchased a new stake in Williams-Sonoma in the fourth quarter worth $236,000.
Several research analysts have weighed in on WSM shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Williams-Sonoma from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target for the company in a research note on Saturday, February 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Wolfe Research upped their price target on Williams-Sonoma from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Gordon Haskett upgraded Williams-Sonoma from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Goldman Sachs downgraded Williams-Sonoma from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.21.
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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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