Will This Upgrade Help Williams-Sonoma (WSM) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Williams Sonoma (WSM) stock has been upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" with an $85 price target, Piper Jaffray said Wednesday. The firm said the company is using technology to drive improved customer service. 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC (WSM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 25.25% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC has improved earnings per share by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.85 versus $2.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.20 versus $2.85).
  • 41.78% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.73% trails the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Specialty Retail industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 17.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $39.47 million to $46.16 million.
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