Sterling Capital Management LLC cut its position in Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE:SMG) by 97.7% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 10,221 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 432,348 shares during the quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Scotts Miracle-Gro were worth $995,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,882,566 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $347,335,000 after purchasing an additional 39,851 shares during the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 3,201,071 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $311,592,000 after purchasing an additional 50,860 shares during the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC lifted its position in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,316,284 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $128,127,000 after purchasing an additional 10,341 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,182,128 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $105,756,000 after buying an additional 16,056 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 17.7% during the 3rd quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 1,046,557 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,873,000 after buying an additional 157,174 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (SMG) opened at $102.98 on Wednesday. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co has a 52-week low of $81.48 and a 52-week high of $103.67. The company has a market cap of $5,908.08, a PE ratio of 24.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 1.62.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The basic materials company reported ($0.26) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.30) by $0.04. Scotts Miracle-Gro had a net margin of 7.51% and a return on equity of 37.81%. The company had revenue of $376.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $368.50 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.30) EPS. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Scotts Miracle-Gro Co will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 8th. Investors of record on Friday, November 24th were issued a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 22nd. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.06%. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s payout ratio is currently 58.89%.

In related news, Director Nancy G. Mistretta sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.11, for a total value of $500,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Ivan C. Smith sold 6,587 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.74, for a total transaction of $643,813.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 12,813 shares of company stock worth $1,266,559 over the last quarter. Insiders own 29.14% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have commented on SMG. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $99.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro in a research report on Saturday, November 25th. Bank of America boosted their price target on shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro from $107.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $101.33.

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About Scotts Miracle-Gro

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Scotts Miracle-Gro) is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products. The Company’s segments include Global Consumer. In North America, its brands include Scotts and Turf Builder lawn and grass seed products; Miracle-Gro, Nature’s Care, Scotts, LiquaFeed and Osmocote gardening and landscape products; and Ortho, Roundup, Home Defense and Tomcat branded insect control, weed control and rodent control products.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG)

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