Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Graco Inc. supplies technology and expertise for the management of fluids in both industrial and commercial settings. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Graco serves customers around the world in the manufacturing, processing, construction and maintenance industries. It designs, manu-factures and markets systems and equipment to move, measure, control, dispense and apply fluid materials. The Company helps customers solve difficult manufacturing problems, increase productivity, improve quality, conserve energy, and save expensive materials. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on GGG. KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Graco in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. They set a sector weight rating for the company. William Blair downgraded shares of Graco from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $89.00 to $78.00 in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG initiated coverage on shares of Graco in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. They set a hold rating and a $83.00 price target for the company. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Graco has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $83.75.

Shares of Graco (NYSE:GGG) opened at 73.16 on Tuesday. Graco has a 52 week low of $63.05 and a 52 week high of $86.62. The company’s 50-day moving average is $73.94 and its 200 day moving average is $78.66. The stock has a market cap of $4.07 billion, a PE ratio of 21.56 and a beta of 1.54.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $348.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $352.49 million. Graco had a return on equity of 30.04% and a net margin of 15.01%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.05 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Graco will post $3.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 17th will be given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 13th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.80%. Graco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.94%.

In other Graco news, insider Patrick J. Mchale sold 11,500 shares of Graco stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.19, for a total transaction of $853,185.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 142,230 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,552,043.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 5.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its position in shares of Graco by 1.0% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 9,601 shares of the company’s stock worth $758,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the period. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Graco during the second quarter worth $2,003,000. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in shares of Graco by 140.2% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 71,837 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,674,000 after buying an additional 41,924 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in shares of Graco by 0.9% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 138,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,973,000 after buying an additional 1,294 shares during the period. Finally, Lebenthal Holdings LLC boosted its position in shares of Graco by 304.8% in the second quarter. Lebenthal Holdings LLC now owns 21,140 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,670,000 after buying an additional 15,918 shares during the period. 90.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Graco Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GGG

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