Traders bought shares of W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE:GWW) on weakness during trading on Friday. $77.20 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $25.38 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $51.82 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, W.W. Grainger had the 21st highest net in-flow for the day. W.W. Grainger traded down ($1.37) for the day and closed at $218.85

GWW has been the topic of several recent research reports. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on W.W. Grainger from $189.00 to $201.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. Credit Suisse Group AG assumed coverage on W.W. Grainger in a research report on Friday, June 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $222.00 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “sell” rating and set a $174.00 price target on shares of W.W. Grainger in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered W.W. Grainger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded W.W. Grainger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $256.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $224.13.

The stock has a market cap of $13.33 billion and a P/E ratio of 19.90. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $222.83 and a 200-day moving average price of $220.59.

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $2.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.17 by $0.28. During the same period last year, the firm posted $3.27 earnings per share. The company earned $2.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.58 billion. On average, analysts expect that W.W. Grainger Inc. will post $11.51 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 8th will be given a dividend of $1.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 4th. This represents a $4.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.23%.

In other W.W. Grainger news, VP Laura D. Brown sold 1,776 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $225.61, for a total transaction of $400,683.36. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 13,011 shares in the company, valued at $2,935,411.71. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Joseph C. High sold 1,722 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.00, for a total value of $378,840.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 7,531 shares in the company, valued at $1,656,820. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. I.G. Investment Management LTD. raised its position in W.W. Grainger by 63.9% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 50,205 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,171,000 after buying an additional 19,566 shares during the period. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in W.W. Grainger by 51.5% in the fourth quarter. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC now owns 54,321 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,005,000 after buying an additional 18,470 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC raised its position in W.W. Grainger by 40.9% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 59,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,037,000 after buying an additional 17,236 shares during the period. Nicholas Co. Inc. WI raised its position in W.W. Grainger by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. Nicholas Co. Inc. WI now owns 325,635 shares of the company’s stock valued at $65,970,000 after buying an additional 12,060 shares during the period. Finally, Morningstar Investment Services LLC raised its position in W.W. Grainger by 19.5% in the fourth quarter. Morningstar Investment Services LLC now owns 55,590 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,262,000 after buying an additional 9,082 shares during the period.

W.W. Grainger, Inc (Grainger) is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. The Company offers its products and services to businesses and institutions in the United States and Canada, with presence also in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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