W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Upgraded to Hold by ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday, June 6th, ValuEngine reports.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded W W Grainger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Gordon Haskett upgraded W W Grainger from an underperform rating to a hold rating and set a $264.58 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, May 17th. William Blair restated a market perform rating on shares of W W Grainger in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Stephens set a $318.00 target price on W W Grainger and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Buckingham Research raised their target price on W W Grainger from $309.00 to $316.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. W W Grainger presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $308.06.

W W Grainger stock traded down $0.94 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $267.29. The stock had a trading volume of 537,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 480,847. The company has a quick ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 2.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. W W Grainger has a 1-year low of $255.09 and a 1-year high of $372.06. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $267.71. The company has a market cap of $15.10 billion, a PE ratio of 16.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 0.94.

W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 22nd. The industrial products company reported $4.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.42 by $0.09. W W Grainger had a return on equity of 46.09% and a net margin of 7.12%. The firm had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.88 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $4.18 EPS. W W Grainger’s quarterly revenue was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that W W Grainger will post 17.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

W W Grainger announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, April 24th that authorizes the company to repurchase 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 13th were given a $1.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 10th. This represents a $5.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.15%. This is a positive change from W W Grainger’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.36. W W Grainger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.49%.

In other W W Grainger news, VP Eric R. Tapia sold 180 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $272.58, for a total value of $49,064.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 8.50% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of GWW. Ronna Sue Cohen lifted its stake in shares of W W Grainger by 27,609.9% during the 1st quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 2,981,867 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,982,000 after buying an additional 2,971,106 shares in the last quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD boosted its position in W W Grainger by 84.1% during the 4th quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 3,155,394 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $890,957,000 after buying an additional 1,441,615 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in W W Grainger during the 4th quarter valued at $156,410,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in W W Grainger by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,372,604 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $952,290,000 after buying an additional 135,674 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in W W Grainger by 36.2% during the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 507,568 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $125,370,000 after buying an additional 134,800 shares during the period. 74.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

W W Grainger Company Profile

W.W. Grainger, Inc distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico, and internationally. The company provides material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, and metalworking tools, as well as gloves, ladders, motors, and janitorial supplies.

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Analyst Recommendations for W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW)

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