Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (NYSE:SMG) shares gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $71.59, but opened at $72.31. Scotts Miracle-Gro shares last traded at $73.93, with a volume of 198,831 shares traded.

Several research firms have commented on SMG. Zacks Investment Research raised Scotts Miracle-Gro from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Scotts Miracle-Gro from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, March 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. lifted their price target on Scotts Miracle-Gro to $85.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $78.33.

The company has a market cap of $4.54 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.36. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $68.88 and its 200-day moving average price is $68.66.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The company reported $3.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.51 by $0.49. The company earned $1.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.24 billion. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s quarterly revenue was up 16.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.29 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. will post $3.88 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 27th were paid a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 25th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.54%.

In related news, CEO James Hagedorn sold 44,630 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.90, for a total value of $2,985,747.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 7,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $498,471.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 30,404 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,961,000 after buying an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 62,773 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,050,000 after buying an additional 218 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 77,633 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,008,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 58,491 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,773,000 after buying an additional 997 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board increased its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 230,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,844,000 after buying an additional 1,021 shares in the last quarter.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Scotts Miracle-Gro) is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer lawn and gardens products. The Company’s segments include Global Consumer, which manufactures and markets consumer lawn and gardens products, including lawn care, Gardening and Landscape and Home Protection, and Scotts LawnService, which provides residential and commercial lawn care, tree and shrub care and limited pest control services in the United States through periodic applications of fertilizer and control products.

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