) to market perform from buy.
Analyst Aram Rubinson says while he has been far more cautious on the sector than most, he didn't want to be completely on the sidelines for a recent cyclical upturn in housing. However, with housing unlikely to add a new leg at this time, he is taking his last chip off the table by downgrading Lowe's.
Still, Rubinson says he's not about to abandon his belief that this is likely to be the last up-cycle for home centers before saturation hits. Although Lowe's valuation has come off peak, the already-high level of expectations on Wall Street may limit Lowe's earnings upside from here.