Shares of Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $77.17, but opened at $77.60. Graco shares last traded at $79.53, with a volume of 85,381 shares changing hands.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Graco from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. KeyCorp assumed coverage on Graco in a research report on Wednesday, May 25th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks Inc. downgraded Graco from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $85.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, April 14th. Sidoti downgraded Graco from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities downgraded Graco from an “accumulate” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $80.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, March 22nd. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Graco currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $82.88.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $79.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.54. The firm has a market cap of $4.42 billion and a PE ratio of 14.59.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 20th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.06. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $304.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $308.83 million. Graco’s quarterly revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Graco Inc. will post $3.60 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 3rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 18th will be given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 14th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.66%.

In related news, Director Sant R. William Van sold 14,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.00, for a total value of $1,190,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $550,800. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Charles L. Rescorla sold 22,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.73, for a total transaction of $1,838,925.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 83,987 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,864,257.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have made changes to their positions in GGG. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC boosted its position in shares of Graco by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC now owns 95,384 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,874,000 after buying an additional 675 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Graco by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 99,571 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,176,000 after buying an additional 1,682 shares during the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Graco by 13.2% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,049,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Graco by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 108,753 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,838,000 after buying an additional 1,785 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gamco Investors INC. ET AL boosted its position in shares of Graco by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL now owns 1,314,914 shares of the company’s stock valued at $94,766,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares during the last quarter.

Graco Inc (Graco) is a manufacturing company. The Company designs, manufactures and markets equipment to pump, meter, mix and dispense a variety of fluids and coatings. Its equipment is used in the construction, automotive, industrial, mining, oil and natural gas, process, public works and other industries.

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