Lowe’s Revenues Rise 30.4% – Is It A Buy Now?

Back in August I showed you 2 Reasons To Avoid Lowe’s Stock…

Today, I want to give you an update on them after they released earnings by answering the question – Lowe’s Revenues Rise 30.4% – Is It A Buy Now? 

You can read the past article on Lowe’s in full by using the link above…

But if you don’t want to; here’s a quick recap of why I told you to avoid its stock in the Summer.

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2 Reasons To Avoid Lowe’s

  1. It’s Overvalued

As of this writing Lowe’s (LOW) is a $119.3 billion market cap home improvement store.

From January 1st, 2020 to today its stock is up 31.5% this year…. From $120.46 on January 2nd, 2020 to $158.41 per share as of this writing.

And it’s up 144% from its low in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic first hit… From $65.02 per share to $158.41 as of this writing.

This is a wild ride this year for Lowe’s stock.  And it leads to the company being overvalued now.

Its P/E is 26.7.

Its P/CF is 18.4.

And its forward P/E is 23.6.

On all these metrics I look to buy investments below 20 to consider them for investment.

Lowe’s is above these numbers which means its overvalued.

And this means investing in its stock today gives you no margin of safety in investing terminology.

When you invest in stocks that have a margin of safety it makes the investment safer.  And it also means you should expect to earn higher returns owning its stock in the coming years.

The inverse of this is also true…

When you invest in a stock without a margin of safety it makes the investment riskier.  And it also means you should expect to earn less owning its stock going forward.

This lack of a margin of safety is the category Lowe’s falls into right now.

Its stock is up so much mainly because…

  • Its continued performing well during this crisis so far and should continue doing so.

This is because more people are stuck at home so they’re doing more home improvement projects.

And this led to fantastic earnings the company just released on August 19th, 2020.

This is great of course for Lowe’s and its shareholders…

But there’s also something else that lowers the margin of safety for Lowe’s and makes it riskier…

2. It’s Got A Lot Of Debt

As of the most recent quarter Lowe’s balance sheet is made up of 91.5% of total liabilities.

It has $25.5 billion in short term and long-term debt and operating leases.

And its debt-to-equity ratio is 5.6.

I want to invest in safe stocks that will be around for decades to come to help me build wealth over the long term.  This helps insure I lose as little money as possible over time.

Typically, this means I invest in companies that have little to no debt compared to their cash and equity.

In most cases I want to invest in stocks that have debt to equity ratios below 1.

Lowe’s does produce enormous profits and cash flows which allows it to sustain and support this debt.

But the large debt does make me uncomfortable… Especially with the enormous uncertainty related to the coronavirus.

Just because its doing well so far in this pandemic doesn’t mean it will continue performing well going forward.

And its debt definingly lowers the margin of safety even more with Lowe’s stock.

None of this means I think Lowe’s will crash and burn…

I don’t.

I think Lowe’s will continue performing well and increasing its dividend payouts to remain a solid Dividend King.

But due to its overvaluation you won’t earn as high of returns as you could if you waited to buy its stock…

What it does mean is that if you’re thinking of buying Lowe’s stock today, I recommend you don’t.

If you want to buy Lowe’s, I recommend you wait until its cheaper and its debt levels are lower before doing so… Because in that case it’s a fantastic all-around investment that is less risky and will earn you higher investment returns.

Until then… Hold off on buying it though.

***

This thesis to avoid Lowe’s stock continued to play out after it released its most up to date quarterly earnings on November 18th, 2020. Sort of…

  • Revenues rose 30.4% in the year-to-year quarterly period to $22.3 billion.
  • Lowe’s online sales jumped 106% in the year-to-year quarterly period.
  • And earnings per share for the first 9 months of 2020 are up 33.5% to $6.41 per share.

This is all fantastic.

Plus, its now cheap enough to buy as well…

As of this writing its P/E is 21.3.

Its P/CF is 9.8.

And its forward P/E is 17.5.

Again, this is amazing considering how much Lowe’s grew in the quarter.

So why did I say sort of above?

Because there’s still one thing that’s holding me back from recommending you buy its stock.

Debt.

It now has a total of $22.3 billion in total debt and operating leases… This is $3 billion lower than back in August. 

And its debt-to-equity ratio is now even worse at 6.2 than it was before.

These are both still too high for my liking.

Especially with lockdowns and massive uncertainty related to the pandemic now back in full force.

For now, continue being patient and waiting to buy Lowe’s stock… But that day’s now getting closer because its cheap enough to do so.

To check out my update on its large competitor Home Depot, you can do so by clicking here.

Click here to see some of the stocks we recommend to Depression Proof Your Portfolio.

Disclosure – Jason Rivera is a 13+ year veteran value investor who now spends much of his time helping other investors earn higher than average investment returns safely. He does not have any holdings in any securities mentioned above and the article expresses his own opinions. He has no business relationship with any company mentioned above.

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