Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) Upgraded to Hold at StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMGGet Rating) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on SMG. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Scotts Miracle-Gro from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $150.00 to $130.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Scotts Miracle-Gro from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $130.00 to $116.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Raymond James reduced their target price on Scotts Miracle-Gro from $185.00 to $150.00 and set a strong-buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Scotts Miracle-Gro from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $123.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Finally, Barclays downgraded Scotts Miracle-Gro from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $150.00 to $110.00 in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Scotts Miracle-Gro presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $160.11.

Shares of SMG stock traded up $2.52 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $97.64. The company had a trading volume of 589,196 shares, compared to its average volume of 549,847. Scotts Miracle-Gro has a 12 month low of $90.38 and a 12 month high of $231.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.71 and a beta of 1.18. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $115.32 and its 200 day moving average is $139.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.44, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a current ratio of 2.21.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMGGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 3rd. The basic materials company reported $5.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.69 by $0.34. Scotts Miracle-Gro had a return on equity of 42.22% and a net margin of 8.81%. The company had revenue of $1.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.68 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $5.64 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Scotts Miracle-Gro will post 7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 27th will be issued a dividend of $0.66 per share. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 26th. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s dividend payout ratio is 37.08%.

In other news, EVP James D. King sold 17,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.42, for a total value of $1,722,350.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,760 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $960,579.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen L. Johnson sold 2,305 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.36, for a total transaction of $261,294.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 20,233 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,293,612.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 27.31% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SMG. Ellevest Inc. increased its holdings in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 177.2% during the 4th quarter. Ellevest Inc. now owns 158 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares in the last quarter. Confluence Wealth Services Inc. bought a new position in Scotts Miracle-Gro during the 4th quarter worth about $26,000. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. increased its holdings in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 84.3% during the 1st quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 212 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 97 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a new position in Scotts Miracle-Gro during the 1st quarter worth about $27,000. Finally, Tcwp LLC bought a new position in Scotts Miracle-Gro during the 1st quarter worth about $41,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.23% of the company’s stock.

About Scotts Miracle-Gro (Get Rating)

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of products for lawn, garden care, and indoor and hydroponic gardening in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: U.S. Consumer, Hawthorne, and Other. It provides lawn care products comprising lawn fertilizers, grass seed products, spreaders, other durable products, and outdoor cleaners, as well as lawn-related weed, pest, and disease control products; gardening and landscape products include water-soluble and continuous-release plant foods, potting mixes and garden soils, mulch and decorative groundcover products, plant-related pest and disease control products, organic garden products, and lives goods and seeding solutions.

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