W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW) was downgraded by stock analysts at Macquarie from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

A number of other brokerages have also commented on GWW. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of W W Grainger in a research note on Saturday, January 28th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on shares of W W Grainger from $245.00 to $266.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 27th. Barclays PLC restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $239.00 target price (up previously from $226.00) on shares of W W Grainger in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of W W Grainger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $194.00 to $246.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of W W Grainger from $229.00 to $233.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $208.44.

Analyst Recommendations for W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW)

Shares of W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) traded down 1.37% on Friday, reaching $173.95. 546,212 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. W W Grainger has a 12 month low of $170.21 and a 12 month high of $262.71. The company has a market cap of $10.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.76 and a beta of 0.82. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $194.66 and its 200 day moving average price is $228.42.

W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 18th. The industrial products company reported $2.88 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.99 by $0.11. W W Grainger had a net margin of 5.98% and a return on equity of 32.79%. The company had revenue of $2.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $3.18 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that W W Grainger will post $10.40 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 1st. Investors of record on Monday, May 8th will be given a dividend of $1.28 per share. This is a positive change from W W Grainger’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.22. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 4th. This represents a $5.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.90%. W W Grainger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 49.64%.

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In related news, VP Laura D. Brown sold 695 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $249.07, for a total transaction of $173,103.65. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 11,235 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,798,301.45. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Ronald L. Jadin sold 31,186 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $249.06, for a total transaction of $7,767,185.16. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 51,645 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,862,703.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 9.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. HM Payson & Co. raised its stake in W W Grainger by 14.1% in the first quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 1,622 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its stake in W W Grainger by 680.9% in the first quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 53,100 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $12,359,000 after buying an additional 46,300 shares in the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. purchased a new stake in W W Grainger during the first quarter valued at about $1,728,000. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its stake in W W Grainger by 383.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 92,591 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $21,552,000 after buying an additional 73,448 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in W W Grainger during the first quarter valued at about $5,819,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.18% of the company’s stock.

About W W Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc (Grainger) is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. The Company offers its products and services to businesses and institutions in the United States and Canada, with presence also in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:GWW

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