Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) (NYSE:SMG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company’s brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company’s Scotts, Miracle-Gro, Ortho and Smith & Hawken brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S. the Company operates Scotts LawnService0, the second largest residential lawn care service business. In Europe, the Company’s brands include Weedol, Pathclear, Evergreen, Levington, Miracle-Gro, KB, Fertiligene and Substral. Its customers include home improvement centers, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, hardware chains, independent hardware stores, nurseries, food and drug stores, commercial nurseries and greenhouses, and specialty crop growers. “

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) in a report on Monday, August 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $101.00.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE SMG) traded down 0.22% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $99.19. 114,337 shares of the stock were exchanged. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has a 52 week low of $81.48 and a 52 week high of $99.91. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $95.57 and its 200 day moving average is $92.56. The stock has a market cap of $5.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.76 and a beta of 0.39.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) (NYSE:SMG) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $2.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.51 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.06 billion. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) had a net margin of 7.85% and a return on equity of 36.28%. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The)’s revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.16 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Scotts Miracle-Gro Company will post $4.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Chairman James Hagedorn sold 92,357 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.41, for a total transaction of $8,904,138.37. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 115,867 shares in the company, valued at $11,170,737.47. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Paul Hagedorn sold 16,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.30, for a total transaction of $1,508,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 254,859 shares of company stock worth $24,364,693. 28.16% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FNY Managed Accounts LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) during the 1st quarter valued at $103,000. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new stake in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) during the 2nd quarter worth $132,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) by 7.5% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,664 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $149,000 after acquiring an additional 116 shares in the last quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN boosted its stake in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 2,025 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $181,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) by 44.5% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,097 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $188,000 after acquiring an additional 646 shares in the last quarter. 69.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The)

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.

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