Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln Electric stands to gain from its improving end markets. Focus on commercializing innovative products, relatively stable pricing environment and cost-cutting initiatives will drive growth. It will also benefit from consistent investment in welding automation. Further, the acquisition of Air Liquide will enhance 2020 Vision and Strategy and enables Lincoln to build its global footprint. It will also be accretive to earnings. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises. Raw material inflation will impact margins in fourth-quarter 2017 as well as in 2018. A stronger U.S. dollar will continue to affect the company’s exports. The stock has underperformed the industry, over the past year. “

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on LECO. BidaskClub upgraded Lincoln Electric from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. FBR & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price target (up from $105.00) on shares of Lincoln Electric in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Lincoln Electric from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $97.00 to $116.00 in a research note on Tuesday. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Lincoln Electric in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $92.00 price target on shares of Lincoln Electric in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Lincoln Electric has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $102.63.

Lincoln Electric (LECO) traded down $0.49 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $98.54. The stock had a trading volume of 427,970 shares, compared to its average volume of 450,136. Lincoln Electric has a 52 week low of $79.98 and a 52 week high of $100.68. The company has a quick ratio of 1.83, a current ratio of 2.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,480.00, a P/E ratio of 23.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.08.

Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) last posted its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The industrial products company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.94 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $669.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $658.48 million. Lincoln Electric had a net margin of 11.34% and a return on equity of 28.97%. Lincoln Electric’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.89 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Lincoln Electric will post 3.75 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LECO. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Lincoln Electric by 3.1% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 203,377 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $18,729,000 after purchasing an additional 6,049 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its stake in Lincoln Electric by 11.4% during the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 3,533 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $325,000 after purchasing an additional 361 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its stake in Lincoln Electric by 1,060.0% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 34,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,193,000 after purchasing an additional 31,800 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in Lincoln Electric by 3.6% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 119,104 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $10,968,000 after purchasing an additional 4,167 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Lincoln Electric by 66.5% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,662 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $429,000 after purchasing an additional 1,862 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.64% of the company’s stock.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This story was reported by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this story on another domain, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of US & international copyright laws. The original version of this story can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/17/lincoln-electric-leco-downgraded-by-zacks-investment-research-to-hold.html.

About Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc is a manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products. The Company operates through three segments: Americas Welding, International Welding and The Harris Products Group. The Americas Welding segment includes welding operations in North and South America. The International Welding segment primarily includes welding operations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Lincoln Electric (LECO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO)

Receive News & Ratings for Lincoln Electric Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Lincoln Electric and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.