W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Hits New 1-Year High on Earnings Beat

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWWGet Rating) shares hit a new 52-week high on Monday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $545.00 and last traded at $544.88, with a volume of 3952 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $543.53.

The industrial products company reported $7.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $6.65 by $0.54. W.W. Grainger had a net margin of 9.23% and a return on equity of 57.59%. The firm had revenue of $3.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.69 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $4.27 earnings per share. W.W. Grainger’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

W.W. Grainger Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 8th will be issued a $1.72 dividend. This represents a $6.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.25%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 5th. W.W. Grainger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.14%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

GWW has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of W.W. Grainger from $421.00 to $448.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday. Wolfe Research raised shares of W.W. Grainger from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 6th. Stephens boosted their target price on shares of W.W. Grainger from $565.00 to $600.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday. StockNews.com downgraded shares of W.W. Grainger from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on shares of W.W. Grainger from $399.00 to $422.00 in a research note on Monday. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, W.W. Grainger currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $519.38.

Insider Activity

In related news, VP Paige K. Robbins sold 2,330 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $500.03, for a total transaction of $1,165,069.90. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,996 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,998,359.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. In related news, VP Laurie R. Thomson sold 276 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $492.05, for a total transaction of $135,805.80. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 1,928 shares in the company, valued at approximately $948,672.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Paige K. Robbins sold 2,330 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $500.03, for a total transaction of $1,165,069.90. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 11,996 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,998,359.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 10.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On W.W. Grainger

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. 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 valued at approximately $30,000. Venture Visionary Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the second quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Finally, Cyrus J. Lawrence LLC purchased a new stake in shares of W.W. Grainger during the first quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.47% of the company’s stock.

W.W. Grainger Trading Up 1.1 %

The company has a quick ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 2.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The business’s 50 day moving average is $473.41 and its 200-day moving average is $485.28. The firm has a market cap of $28.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.23.

About W.W. Grainger

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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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