Watsco Inc (NYSE:WSO) – Analysts at William Blair lifted their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for Watsco in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. William Blair analyst R. Merkel now forecasts that the construction company will post earnings of $5.57 per share for the year, up from their prior estimate of $5.55. William Blair also issued estimates for Watsco’s Q4 2017 earnings at $0.98 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.14 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $1.06 EPS.

Watsco (NYSE:WSO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The construction company reported $1.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.95 by ($0.13). Watsco had a return on equity of 15.00% and a net margin of 4.46%. The business had revenue of $1.23 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.78 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down .9% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on WSO. KeyCorp reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Watsco in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Watsco from $151.00 to $156.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Watsco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $160.40.

Shares of Watsco (NYSE WSO) opened at $173.06 on Wednesday. Watsco has a fifty-two week low of $134.08 and a fifty-two week high of $174.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $6,123.86, a PE ratio of 31.99 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a quick ratio of 1.42, a current ratio of 3.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 16th will be given a $1.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 12th. This represents a $5.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. Watsco’s payout ratio is 92.42%.

In related news, SVP Barry S. Logan sold 3,246 shares of Watsco stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.30, for a total transaction of $533,317.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,595,940. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 13.93% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Watsco by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,489,042 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $383,810,000 after acquiring an additional 34,943 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in Watsco by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,023,513 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $157,826,000 after acquiring an additional 99,041 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Watsco by 54.7% during the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 875,680 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $134,994,000 after acquiring an additional 309,675 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in Watsco by 6.8% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 799,293 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $123,247,000 after acquiring an additional 50,751 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Watsco by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 765,046 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $123,227,000 after acquiring an additional 13,404 shares during the period. 82.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Watsco Company Profile

Watsco, Inc is a distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment, and related parts and supplies (HVAC/R) in the HVAC/R distribution industry in North America. As of December 31, 2016, the Company sold a range of non-equipment products, representing more than 300,000 stock keeping units, including parts, ductwork, air movement products, insulation, tools, installation supplies, thermostats and air quality products.

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