W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE:GWW) shares rose 4.6% on Thursday . The company traded as high as $230.26 and last traded at $229.89, with a volume of 573,820 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $219.80.

GWW has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on shares of W.W. Grainger in a research report on Friday, June 17th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $222.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “sell” rating and set a $174.00 price objective on shares of W.W. Grainger in a report on Monday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W.W. Grainger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $256.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Morgan Stanley restated a “sell” rating on shares of W.W. Grainger in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating on shares of W.W. Grainger in a report on Friday, June 10th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $224.13.

The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $222.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $222.45. The company has a market cap of $13.86 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.86.

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last posted its earnings results 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. The firm had revenue of $2.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.58 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $3.27 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that W.W. Grainger Inc. will post $11.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 8th will be paid a dividend of $1.22 per share. This represents a $4.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 4th.

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

A number of hedge funds have modified their holdings of GWW. Nicholas Co. Inc. WI boosted its stake in shares of 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. Morningstar Investment Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of W.W. Grainger by 454.7% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 8,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,787,000 after buying an additional 7,230 shares during the period. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR boosted its stake in shares of W.W. Grainger by 624.3% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 7,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,557,000 after buying an additional 6,624 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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