Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO) Short Interest Update

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,610,000 shares, an increase of 11.8% from the December 15th total of 1,440,000 shares. Currently, 2.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 295,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.4 days.

LECO has been the subject of several research reports. Oppenheimer lowered shares of Lincoln Electric from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Lincoln Electric from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Seaport Global Securities lowered shares of Lincoln Electric from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 18th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Lincoln Electric from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $97.00 to $84.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $91.33.

In related news, CEO Christopher L. Mapes sold 28,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.41, for a total value of $2,690,685.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 236,705 shares in the company, valued at $22,347,319.05. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Gabriel Bruno sold 987 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.17, for a total transaction of $88,997.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 75,625 shares of company stock worth $7,120,786. Insiders own 3.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Boston Trust Walden Corp boosted its position in Lincoln Electric by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Boston Trust Walden Corp now owns 564,498 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $54,604,000 after buying an additional 7,286 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Lincoln Electric by 48.8% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 542,300 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $44,642,000 after buying an additional 177,800 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Lincoln Electric by 0.5% in the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 289,109 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $23,799,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc raised its stake in Lincoln Electric by 30.6% in the second quarter. Man Group plc now owns 226,027 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $18,606,000 after buying an additional 52,975 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Lincoln Electric by 44.5% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 178,741 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $14,714,000 after buying an additional 55,043 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.01% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ LECO traded up $0.73 during trading on Thursday, hitting $96.57. 2,412 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 252,315. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $95.47 and a two-hundred day moving average of $88.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.89 and a quick ratio of 1.17. Lincoln Electric has a 12-month low of $75.57 and a 12-month high of $98.32. The firm has a market cap of $5.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.09, a PEG ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 1.23.

Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The industrial products company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.24 by ($0.15). Lincoln Electric had a net margin of 10.50% and a return on equity of 36.00%. The business had revenue of $730.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $750.21 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.21 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Lincoln Electric will post 4.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st were given a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.03%. This is a positive change from Lincoln Electric’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 30th. Lincoln Electric’s dividend payout ratio is presently 40.66%.

About Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells welding, cutting, and brazing products worldwide. It operates through three segments: Americas Welding, International Welding, and The Harris Products Group. The company offers welding products, including arc welding power sources, plasma cutters, wire feeding systems, robotic welding packages, integrated automation systems, fume extraction equipment, consumable electrodes, fluxes and welding accessories, and specialty welding consumables and fabrication products.

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