Griffon (NYSE:GFF) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Griffon (NYSE:GFF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Griffon Corporation ( GFF ) is a diversified management and holding company conducting business through wholly-owned subsidiaries. Griffon oversees the operations of its subsidiaries, allocates resources among them and manages their capital structures. Griffon provides direction and assistance to its subsidiaries in connection with acquisition and growth opportunities as well as in connection with divestitures. In order to further diversify, Griffon also seeks out, evaluates and, when appropriate, will acquire additional businesses that offer potentially attractive returns on capital. Griffon currently conducts its operations through three reportable segments: Home & Building Product, Telephonics Corporation and Clopay Plastic Products. Griffon Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchanges and trades under the symbol GFF. “

Separately, Raymond James raised their price objective on shares of Griffon from $27.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $29.40.

GFF stock traded up $0.50 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $27.62. 230,648 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 249,679. Griffon has a twelve month low of $13.49 and a twelve month high of $28.47. The company has a quick ratio of 1.56, a current ratio of 2.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $27.13 and a 200-day simple moving average of $23.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.61 and a beta of 2.00.

Griffon (NYSE:GFF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The conglomerate reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.16. Griffon had a return on equity of 13.40% and a net margin of 2.22%. Equities research analysts forecast that Griffon will post 1.53 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 17th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 20th will be given a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 19th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.16%. Griffon’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 19.75%.

In other Griffon news, SVP Seth L. Kaplan sold 9,737 shares of Griffon stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.62, for a total transaction of $229,987.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 248,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,864,798.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Seth L. Kaplan sold 13,251 shares of Griffon stock in a transaction on Friday, February 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.36, for a total value of $322,794.36. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 248,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,048,539.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Griffon by 9.3% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,924,756 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $141,128,000 after acquiring an additional 591,500 shares during the period. Bailard Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Griffon in the fourth quarter valued at $267,000. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in shares of Griffon by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 151,562 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $3,089,000 after buying an additional 15,791 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Griffon by 15.0% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 39,900 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $813,000 after buying an additional 5,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Peregrine Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Griffon by 116.5% in the fourth quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 715,535 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $14,583,000 after buying an additional 385,002 shares in the last quarter. 73.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Griffon

Griffon Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the consumer and professional products, home and building products, and defense electronics businesses primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and China. Its Consumer and Professional Products segment manufactures and markets long-handled tools and landscaping products for homeowners and professionals; wood and wire closet organization, general living storage, and wire garage storage products to home center retail chains, mass merchandisers, and direct-to builder professional installers; wheelbarrows and lawn carts; snow, striking, and hand tools; planters and lawn accessories; garden hoses; and pruners, loppers, shears, and other tools.

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