Analysts forecast that W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW) will report earnings of $3.96 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Six analysts have issued estimates for W W Grainger’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $3.66 to $4.18. W W Grainger posted earnings of $2.90 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 36.6%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Tuesday, October 16th.

On average, analysts expect that W W Grainger will report full-year earnings of $16.01 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $15.50 to $16.30. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $17.75 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $15.90 to $18.80. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow W W Grainger.

W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 18th. The industrial products company reported $4.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.78 by $0.59. The business had revenue of $2.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. W W Grainger had a return on equity of 42.66% and a net margin of 7.16%. W W Grainger’s quarterly revenue was up 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.67 earnings per share.

A number of research firms have weighed in on GWW. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on W W Grainger to $243.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Oppenheimer raised their price target on W W Grainger from $350.00 to $380.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Cfra set a $350.00 price target on W W Grainger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “hold” rating on shares of W W Grainger in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, UBS Group upgraded W W Grainger from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $240.00 to $340.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. W W Grainger currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $295.36.

In other news, VP Eric R. Tapia sold 1,534 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $338.19, for a total value of $518,783.46. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 2,278 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $770,396.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Donald G. Macpherson sold 21,448 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $342.39, for a total value of $7,343,580.72. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 39,118 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,393,612.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 25,247 shares of company stock valued at $8,577,130. Insiders own 10.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its position in shares of W W Grainger by 60.4% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 409 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of W W Grainger in the first quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W W Grainger in the second quarter valued at approximately $178,000. Global Financial Private Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W W Grainger in the second quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W W Grainger in the second quarter valued at approximately $211,000. 78.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

W W Grainger traded up $1.00, reaching $351.30, during mid-day trading on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. The company had a trading volume of 451,424 shares, compared to its average volume of 857,516. The company has a quick ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 2.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. The company has a market cap of $19.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 0.86. W W Grainger has a 52 week low of $155.00 and a 52 week high of $358.63.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 13th will be given a $1.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 10th. This represents a $5.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.55%. W W Grainger’s payout ratio is 47.47%.

W W Grainger Company Profile

W.W. Grainger, Inc distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies; and other related products and services that are used by businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The company offers material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, metalworking tools, and various other products.

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