Royal Bank of Canada Increases W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Price Target to $369.00

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) had its price target increased by Royal Bank of Canada from $354.00 to $369.00 in a research note published on Monday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage currently has an underperform rating on the industrial products company’s stock.

GWW has been the subject of several other research reports. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on shares of W.W. Grainger from $452.00 to $500.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Monday. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of W.W. Grainger from $427.00 to $462.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, May 3rd. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of W.W. Grainger from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $435.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W.W. Grainger from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $480.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 5th. Finally, Raymond James raised their price objective on shares of W.W. Grainger from $400.00 to $460.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, May 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. W.W. Grainger currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $425.36.

Shares of W.W. Grainger stock opened at $465.10 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.73 and a current ratio of 2.97. The company has a fifty day moving average of $420.11 and a 200-day moving average of $399.22. W.W. Grainger has a 52-week low of $263.83 and a 52-week high of $479.87.

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The industrial products company reported $4.48 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.30 by $0.18. The business had revenue of $3.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.04 billion. W.W. Grainger had a net margin of 5.37% and a return on equity of 41.31%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $4.24 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that W.W. Grainger will post 16.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 10th will be issued a dividend of $1.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 7th. This represents a $6.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.39%. This is an increase from W.W. Grainger’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.53. W.W. Grainger’s payout ratio is currently 37.48%.

In other W.W. Grainger news, VP John L. Howard sold 2,535 shares of W.W. Grainger stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $407.21, for a total transaction of $1,032,277.35. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 40,893 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,652,038.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Donald G. Macpherson sold 4,276 shares of W.W. Grainger stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $407.01, for a total transaction of $1,740,374.76. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 61,175 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,898,836.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 8,805 shares of company stock worth $3,688,815 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 13.97% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Perigon Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,000. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the first quarter valued at approximately $31,000. Wolff Wiese Magana LLC bought a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd bought a new stake in W.W. Grainger in the fourth quarter worth $33,000. Finally, International Assets Investment Management LLC increased its position in W.W. Grainger by 112.8% in the first quarter. International Assets Investment Management LLC now owns 83 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $34,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.63% of the company’s stock.

About W.W. Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Canada, 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.

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