Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln Electric continues to invest in long-term, profitable growth with its broad range of product launches and strategic acquisitions. Further, operational excellence initiatives and interim cost control measures will also aid margins. However, persistent weakness in industrial production, commodity prices and slowing emerging market economies remain concerns for the company. Further, increase in R&D spending will impede its margin performance in the near term. Moreover, tough comparisons and a stronger dollar will hurt Lincoln Electric's results in the coming quarters.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Lincoln Electric Holdings from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank AG began coverage on Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Wellington Shields downgraded Lincoln Electric Holdings to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 24th. TheStreet upgraded Lincoln Electric Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Finally, Wunderlich lowered their price target on Lincoln Electric Holdings from $85.00 to $75.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lincoln Electric Holdings has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO)

Shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO) traded up 0.26% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $62.10. The company had a trading volume of 121,326 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $4.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 60.70 and a beta of 1.10. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $62.54 and its 200 day moving average is $61.24. Lincoln Electric Holdings has a 52 week low of $45.54 and a 52 week high of $65.33.

Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25th. The company reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83. Lincoln Electric Holdings had a return on equity of 25.46% and a net margin of 3.11%. The company had revenue of $592.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $589.08 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.95 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Lincoln Electric Holdings will post $3.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.07%. Lincoln Electric Holdings’s dividend payout ratio is currently 119.63%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LECO. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 72.4% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 242,156 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,185,000 after buying an additional 101,706 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 3.6% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 5,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $341,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its stake in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 2.2% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 9,302 shares of the company’s stock valued at $550,000 after buying an additional 203 shares during the last quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. acquired a new stake in Lincoln Electric Holdings during the first quarter valued at about $2,762,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 8.9% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 19,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,158,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.26% of the company’s stock.

About Lincoln Electric Holdings

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc a manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products. The Company’s welding products include arc welding power sources, wire feeding systems, robotic welding packages, fume extraction equipment, consumable electrodes and fluxes. The Company’s operating segments include North America Welding, Europe Welding, Asia Pacific Welding, South America Welding and The Harris Products Group.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:LECO

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