Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

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. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Deutsche Bank AG initiated coverage on Graco in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $83.00 price objective on the stock. William Blair cut Graco from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $89.00 to $78.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have given a hold rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.75.

Analyst Recommendations for Graco (NYSE:GGG)

Graco (NYSE:GGG) traded up 0.43% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $70.40. 370,844 shares of the stock were exchanged. Graco has a 1-year low of $63.05 and a 1-year high of $86.62. The company’s 50 day moving average is $73.84 and its 200 day moving average is $77.75. The company has a market capitalization of $3.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.75 and a beta of 1.51.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.11. Graco had a net margin of 15.01% and a return on equity of 30.04%. The firm earned $348.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $352.49 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.05 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Graco will post $3.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Monday, October 17th will be given a $0.33 dividend. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 13th. Graco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.94%.

In related news, insider Patrick J. Mchale sold 11,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.19, for a total value of $853,185.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 142,230 shares in the company, valued at $10,552,043.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 5.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Creative Planning boosted its position in Graco by 4.4% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 59 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in Graco by 292.6% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,336 shares of the company’s stock valued at $185,000 after buying an additional 1,741 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp boosted its position in Graco by 4.6% in the second quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 2,476 shares of the company’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the period. Princeton Alpha Management LP bought a new position in Graco during the second quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Hsbc Holdings PLC boosted its position in Graco by 1.4% in the second quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 2,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 90.60% of the company’s stock.

About Graco

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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