Meritage Homes (MTH) Lifted to “Buy” at Zelman & Associates

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Zelman & Associates upgraded shares of Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning, The Fly reports.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded Meritage Homes from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Meritage Homes from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, December 31st. Wedbush downgraded Meritage Homes from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $41.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup downgraded Meritage Homes from a buy rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a report on Friday, February 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Meritage Homes in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $44.31.

Shares of Meritage Homes stock opened at $48.68 on Friday. Meritage Homes has a 52 week low of $32.02 and a 52 week high of $49.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.88 billion, a PE ratio of 8.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a current ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76.

Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The construction company reported $1.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.39. The firm had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $958.84 million. Meritage Homes had a return on equity of 13.49% and a net margin of 6.47%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.87 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Meritage Homes will post 4.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Meritage Homes news, EVP C Timothy White sold 19,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.07, for a total transaction of $878,865.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Steven J. Hilton sold 27,877 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.40, for a total value of $1,209,861.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 89,611 shares of company stock worth $3,924,400. 6.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in Meritage Homes by 11.5% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,943 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 304 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in Meritage Homes by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 10,079 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $370,000 after purchasing an additional 395 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its holdings in Meritage Homes by 2.8% during the 4th quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 14,900 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $547,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund increased its holdings in Meritage Homes by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 24,584 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $903,000 after purchasing an additional 542 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in Meritage Homes by 25.6% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,804 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $103,000 after purchasing an additional 572 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 97.14% of the company’s stock.

About Meritage Homes

Meritage Homes Corporation designs and builds single-family homes in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Homebuilding and Financial Services. It acquires and develops land; and constructs, markets, and sells homes for first-time and first move-up buyers. The company also offers luxury homes; and title insurance and closing/settlement services to its homebuyers.

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