Short Interest in W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW) Decreases By 18.9%

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWWGet Rating) saw a significant decrease in short interest in the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 810,700 shares, a decrease of 18.9% from the April 15th total of 1,000,000 shares. Currently, 1.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 314,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.6 days.

In other news, CEO Donald G. Macpherson sold 12,266 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $488.83, for a total value of $5,995,988.78. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 72,888 shares in the company, valued at $35,629,841.04. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Deidra C. Merriwether sold 488 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $488.62, for a total transaction of $238,446.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 7,605 shares in the company, valued at $3,715,955.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 14,762 shares of company stock worth $7,252,245 over the last 90 days. 10.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Riverview Trust Co acquired a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger in the first quarter worth $26,000. Fairfield Bush & CO. acquired a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger in the first quarter worth $30,000. Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger in the fourth quarter worth $33,000. Cyrus J. Lawrence LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger in the first quarter worth $32,000. Finally, Sandy Cove Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger in the fourth quarter worth $43,000. 79.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on shares of W.W. Grainger from $525.00 to $560.00 in a research report on Friday, February 4th. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of W.W. Grainger from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $562.00 to $480.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Atlantic Securities raised shares of W.W. Grainger from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $580.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 15th. Oppenheimer upped their price objective on shares of W.W. Grainger from $535.00 to $580.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 4th. Finally, Stephens upped their price objective on shares of W.W. Grainger from $510.00 to $565.00 in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $517.89.

NYSE:GWW traded down $1.41 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $464.37. 671 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 355,284. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 2.55 and a quick ratio of 1.44. The firm has a market cap of $23.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.77, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.19. W.W. Grainger has a 52-week low of $391.16 and a 52-week high of $529.91. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $499.20 and a 200 day simple moving average of $494.30.

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWWGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The industrial products company reported $7.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $6.16 by $0.91. The company had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.51 billion. W.W. Grainger had a net margin of 8.58% and a return on equity of 53.07%. W.W. Grainger’s revenue was up 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $4.48 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that W.W. Grainger will post 26.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 9th will be given a $1.72 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 6th. This represents a $6.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.48%. This is a positive change from W.W. Grainger’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.62. W.W. Grainger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 30.67%.

W.W. Grainger Company Profile (Get Rating)

W.W. Grainger, Inc distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, High-Touch Solutions N.A. and Endless Assortment. It offers safety and security supplies, material handling and storage equipment, pumps and plumbing equipment, cleaning and maintenance supplies, and metalworking and hand tools.

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