Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Watsco (NYSE:WSO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday. They currently have $198.00 target price on the construction company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Watsco will gain from its industry-leading technologies and estimates the e-commerce sales to touch $1 billion this year. Watsco continues to transform its business into the digital age by investing in scalable platforms for mobile apps, e-commerce, business intelligence and supply-chain optimization. Its technology evolution continues to make progress. Further, its focus on strategic acquisitions, cost-cutting initiatives and growth potential in the replacement market will drive growth.”
WSO has been the topic of a number of other research reports. KeyCorp restated a buy rating on shares of Watsco in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Watsco from $151.00 to $156.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Watsco presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $166.20.
Watsco (NYSE:WSO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The construction company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.00 by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $964.35 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $965.85 million. Watsco had a return on equity of 15.00% and a net margin of 4.46%. The company’s revenue was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.81 EPS. analysts forecast that Watsco will post 5.58 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 16th were paid a dividend of $1.25 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, January 12th. This represents a $5.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.03%. Watsco’s payout ratio is 91.74%.
In other Watsco news, SVP Barry S. Logan sold 3,246 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $164.30, for a total transaction of $533,317.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 15,800 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,595,940. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 13.93% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in Watsco by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 9,096 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 146 shares in the last quarter. Brookstone Capital Management increased its stake in Watsco by 17.1% during the 3rd quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 2,155 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $347,000 after purchasing an additional 314 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 1.7% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 19,248 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $3,100,000 after acquiring an additional 330 shares during the period. Pennsylvania Trust Co increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 30,127 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $5,122,000 after acquiring an additional 463 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 0.7% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 64,773 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $9,988,000 after acquiring an additional 469 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.68% of the company’s stock.
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Watsco, Inc is a distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment, and related parts and supplies (HVAC/R) in the HVAC/R distribution industry in North America. As of December 31, 2016, the Company sold a range of non-equipment products, representing more than 300,000 stock keeping units, including parts, ductwork, air movement products, insulation, tools, installation supplies, thermostats and air quality products.
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