Shares of Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 515,968 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 9% from the previous session’s volume of 473,538 shares.The stock last traded at $73.97 and had previously closed at $73.37.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on GGG. William Blair cut Graco from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $89.00 to $78.00 in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research cut Graco from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. KeyCorp began coverage on Graco in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut Graco from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $85.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, April 14th. Finally, Sidoti cut Graco from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $92.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, April 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $82.13.

The firm has a 50 day moving average of $79.21 and a 200 day moving average of $77.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.11 billion and a PE ratio of 21.74.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.11. The business earned $348.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $352.49 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. Graco’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Graco Inc. will post $3.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 18th will be issued a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 14th.

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

Several hedge funds recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Graco during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,220,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Graco by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 304,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,964,000 after buying an additional 19,869 shares during the period. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC raised its stake in 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 period. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc raised its stake in Graco by 26.5% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 36,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,651,000 after buying an additional 7,705 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Graco by 304.8% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 52,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,797,000 after buying an additional 39,661 shares during the period.

Graco Inc (Graco) is a manufacturing company. The Company designs, manufactures and markets equipment to pump, meter, mix and dispense fluid and powder materials. The Company operates through three segments: Industrial, Process and Contractor. The Industrial segment markets equipment and pre-engineered packages for moving and applying paints, coatings, sealants, adhesives and other fluids.

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