StockNews.com Upgrades W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) to Strong-Buy

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWWGet Rating) was upgraded by StockNews.com from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

GWW has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on W.W. Grainger from $474.00 to $449.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 31st. Wolfe Research upgraded W.W. Grainger from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 6th. Stephens increased their target price on W.W. Grainger from $510.00 to $565.00 in a report on Monday, May 2nd. Finally, Atlantic Securities upgraded W.W. Grainger from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $580.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $514.44.

NYSE GWW opened at $507.17 on Wednesday. W.W. Grainger has a 1-year low of $391.16 and a 1-year high of $529.91. The company has a market capitalization of $25.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.61, a PEG ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.20. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $494.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $494.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 2.55 and a quick ratio of 1.44.

W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWWGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The industrial products company reported $7.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $6.16 by $0.91. W.W. Grainger had a return on equity of 53.07% and a net margin of 8.58%. The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.51 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $4.48 EPS. W.W. Grainger’s quarterly revenue was up 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that W.W. Grainger will post 26.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP John L. Howard sold 1,732 shares of W.W. Grainger stock in a transaction on Friday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $509.24, for a total value of $882,003.68. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 20,567 shares in the company, valued at $10,473,539.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Deidra C. Merriwether sold 488 shares of W.W. Grainger stock in a transaction on Monday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $488.62, for a total value of $238,446.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 7,605 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,715,955.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 14,762 shares of company stock worth $7,252,245 in the last quarter. 10.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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

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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