W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW) – Stock analysts at William Blair increased their Q3 2019 earnings per share estimates for W W Grainger in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, April 22nd, according to Zacks Investment Research. William Blair analyst R. Merkel now expects that the industrial products company will post earnings per share of $4.63 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $4.62. William Blair has a “Market Perform” rating on the stock. William Blair also issued estimates for W W Grainger’s FY2020 earnings at $20.50 EPS.
Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on W W Grainger from $266.00 to $273.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on W W Grainger from $320.00 to $310.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded W W Grainger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday. Gordon Haskett upgraded W W Grainger from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $264.58 target price on the stock in a report on Friday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded W W Grainger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $309.13.
GWW traded up $3.24 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $267.10. 659,248 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 510,783. W W Grainger has a 52 week low of $258.42 and a 52 week high of $372.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 2.40 and a quick ratio of 1.36. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.99, a PEG ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 0.96.
W W Grainger (NYSE:GWW) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 22nd. The industrial products company reported $4.51 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.42 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.88 billion. W W Grainger had a return on equity of 46.09% and a net margin of 7.12%. W W Grainger’s quarterly revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $4.18 EPS.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Monday, May 13th will be paid a $1.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 10th. This represents a $5.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.16%. This is an increase from W W Grainger’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.36. W W Grainger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.49%.
W W Grainger declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, April 24th that allows the company to repurchase 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP John L. Howard sold 1,211 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.09, for a total value of $375,518.99. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 44,934 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,933,584.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Donald G. Macpherson sold 2,317 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.03, for a total value of $718,339.51. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 45,848 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,214,255.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 8.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. First Midwest Bank Trust Division lifted its position in W W Grainger by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 6,815 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,924,000 after acquiring an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. XR Securities LLC bought a new position in W W Grainger in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,694,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in W W Grainger by 12.9% in the 3rd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,164,524 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $416,213,000 after acquiring an additional 133,501 shares in the last quarter. CNB Bank lifted its position in W W Grainger by 16.5% in the 1st quarter. CNB Bank now owns 1,491 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $448,000 after acquiring an additional 211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC lifted its position in W W Grainger by 896.6% in the 4th quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 2,661 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $752,000 after acquiring an additional 2,394 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.04% of the company’s stock.
About W W Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico, and internationally. The company provides material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, and metalworking tools, as well as gloves, ladders, motors, and janitorial supplies.