NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lowe'sCos. (LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. Report were declining in mid-morning trading on Wednesday as JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock to "neutral" from "overweight."
The firm also reduced its price target to $72 from $87, citing an increasingly uneven consumer environment, negative laterals from the home improvement company's key vendors and moderation in existing home sales trends.
Lowe's could also see difficult comparisons over the next two quarters due to the record warm winter last year and earlier spring spending in the 2016 first quarter, JPMorgan said.
"While the category saw some acceleration in September, housing turnover is softer than earlier in the year and we believe it is prudent to take a more defensive posture with Lowe's typically more sensitive to environmental factors and considering the mix and comparison factors noted above," the firm said in an analyst note.
Wedbush today also decreased its rating on Lowe's stock to "neutral" from "outperform," and cut its price target to $73 from $84.
Lowe's operational and merchandising momentum may have slowed, resulting in a greater margin gap relative to Home Depot (HD), the firm said.
Wedbush analysts believe the slowdown in home improvement sales growth comes from more than election-related volatility.
Existing home sales growth has stalled and the luxury housing market is weakening, the firm added.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
The team rates Lowe's as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in net income. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.