Graco Inc. (GGG) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Graco Inc. supplies technology and expertise for the management of fluids in both industrial and commercial settings. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Graco serves customers around the world in the manufacturing, processing, construction and maintenance industries. It designs, manu-factures and markets systems and equipment to move, measure, control, dispense and apply fluid materials. The Company helps customers solve difficult manufacturing problems, increase productivity, improve quality, conserve energy, and save expensive materials. “

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “hold” rating and set a $128.00 price target on shares of Graco in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Graco in a research report on Friday, October 27th. FBR & Co set a $140.00 price target on Graco and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Graco in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Graco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $116.75.

Graco (NYSE GGG) traded up $1.62 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $132.11. The company had a trading volume of 174,878 shares, compared to its average volume of 262,428. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a quick ratio of 1.46, a current ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.15 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $379.81 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $356.30 million. Graco had a return on equity of 42.05% and a net margin of 7.72%. Graco’s quarterly revenue was up 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.95 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Graco will post 4.36 EPS for the current year.

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In other Graco news, Director Eric Etchart sold 757 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.20, for a total value of $90,234.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,485,708.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider David M. Lowe sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.50, for a total value of $3,465,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,035,439.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 171,116 shares of company stock worth $11,426,627. Insiders own 5.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Graco by 19.0% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 327,738 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $35,816,000 after acquiring an additional 52,346 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC boosted its stake in shares of Graco by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 6,930 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $757,000 after acquiring an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management boosted its stake in shares of Graco by 6.8% during the 3rd quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 7,621 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $942,000 after acquiring an additional 488 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in shares of Graco by 12.3% during the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 148,597 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $13,989,000 after acquiring an additional 16,224 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Graco by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 305,782 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $33,416,000 after acquiring an additional 23,718 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.18% of the company’s stock.

Graco Company Profile

Graco Inc designs, manufactures and markets systems and equipment used to move, measure, control, dispense and spray fluid and powder materials. The Company specializes in equipment for applications that involve materials with viscosities, materials with abrasive or corrosive properties, and multiple-component materials that require ratio control.

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