Graco (GGG) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Graco (NYSE:GGG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, January 4th.

According to Zacks, “Graco Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets systems and equipment used to move, measure, control, dispense, and spray fluid and powder materials worldwide. It operates through three segments: Industrial, Process, and Contractor. The Industrial segment offers proportioning systems that are used to spray polyurethane foam and polyurea coatings; vapor-abrasive blasting equipment; composite materials; and gel coat equipment, chop and wet-out systems, resin transfer molding systems, and applicators etc. The Process segment offers pumps that move chemicals, water, wastewater, petroleum, food, and other fluids; pressure valves used in the oil and natural gas industry, other industrial processes, and research facilities etc. The Contractor segment offers sprayers that apply paint and texture to walls, other structures, and ceilings; and highly viscous coatings to roofs, as well as markings on roads, parking lots, athletic fields, and floors. “

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on GGG. B. Riley reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $46.67 target price on shares of Graco in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine lowered Graco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $47.67 target price on shares of Graco in a report on Friday, December 15th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $42.67 price objective on shares of Graco in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, FBR & Co set a $46.67 price objective on Graco and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Thirteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $41.67.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) traded up $0.55 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $47.02. The company had a trading volume of 506,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 753,925. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,640.00, a PE ratio of 75.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 1.24. Graco has a 12-month low of $28.06 and a 12-month high of $47.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a quick ratio of 1.46 and a current ratio of 2.23.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.03. Graco had a return on equity of 42.05% and a net margin of 7.72%. The company had revenue of $379.81 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $356.30 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.32 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Graco will post 1.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Mark D. Eberlein sold 5,902 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.26, for a total transaction of $768,794.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Caroline M. Chambers sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.56, for a total value of $1,315,600.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 15,191 shares in the company, valued at $1,998,527.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 734,752 shares of company stock worth $18,245,690 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 5.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Graco by 106.1% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,123 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 578 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Graco by 200.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,200 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Graco in the second quarter valued at about $180,000. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. grew its stake in shares of Graco by 127.0% in the second quarter. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. now owns 1,918 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $210,000 after buying an additional 1,073 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ballentine Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Graco in the third quarter valued at about $210,000. Institutional investors own 28.75% of the company’s stock.

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About Graco

Graco Inc designs, manufactures and markets systems and equipment used to move, measure, control, dispense and spray fluid and powder materials. The Company specializes in equipment for applications that involve materials with viscosities, materials with abrasive or corrosive properties, and multiple-component materials that require ratio control.

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