Universal Forest Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $110.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 10.75% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Month to date, shares of Universal Forest Products outperformed the Zacks categorized Building Products Wood industry. We believe the company is well positioned to reap benefits from the strengthening demand in the U.S. construction market as well as from its new customers and solid product portfolio. Over the long term, Universal Forest Products aims to grow sales roughly 4-6% above positive GDP growth. Also, the recently acquired assets of Quality Hardwood Sales, LLC and Robbins Manufacturing Co. will fortify the company's position in the hardwood products market, improve its customer base and bolster sales going ahead.”

Shares of Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) opened at 99.32 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $100.18 and its 200 day moving average is $99.77. Universal Forest Products has a 12 month low of $76.11 and a 12 month high of $110.97. The company has a market capitalization of $2.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.02 and a beta of 1.70.

Universal Forest Products (NASDAQ:UFPI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The company reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.02. Universal Forest Products had a return on equity of 12.31% and a net margin of 3.27%. The business earned $859.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $705.10 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. Universal Forest Products’s revenue was up 31.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Universal Forest Products will post $5.86 EPS for the current year.

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In other Universal Forest Products news, Director Michael G. Wooldridge purchased 500 shares of Universal Forest Products stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 2nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $99.24 per share, with a total value of $49,620.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $179,425.92. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Charles Scott Greene sold 2,475 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.49, for a total transaction of $246,237.75. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $527,098.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Foundry Partners LLC raised its stake in Universal Forest Products by 1.7% in the third quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 71,768 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,068,000 after buying an additional 1,230 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Universal Forest Products by 10.5% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 241,096 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,746,000 after buying an additional 22,942 shares during the last quarter. Algert Global LLC raised its stake in Universal Forest Products by 93.4% in the third quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 8,345 shares of the company’s stock valued at $822,000 after buying an additional 4,031 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Universal Forest Products by 222.7% in the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,223 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,301,000 after buying an additional 9,126 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new stake in Universal Forest Products during the third quarter valued at approximately $402,000. 81.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Universal Forest Products

Universal Forest Products, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, supplies wood, wood composite and other products to three primary markets: retail, construction and industrial. Its industrial market serves as industrial manufacturers and other customers for packaging, material handling and other applications.

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