Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) Downgraded by StockNews.com to Buy

StockNews.com downgraded shares of Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECOGet Rating) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday.

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on LECO. Oppenheimer increased their price objective on Lincoln Electric to $165.00 in a report on Monday, November 21st. Robert W. Baird raised their price target on Lincoln Electric from $150.00 to $152.00 in a report on Thursday, October 27th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Lincoln Electric to $149.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 14th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on shares of Lincoln Electric from $137.00 to $136.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 11th.

Lincoln Electric Stock Performance

LECO stock opened at $153.65 on Friday. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $145.68 and its two-hundred day moving average is $137.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.68, a PEG ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 1.70. Lincoln Electric has a 1 year low of $118.17 and a 1 year high of $154.80.

Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECOGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The industrial products company reported $2.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.96 by $0.08. Lincoln Electric had a net margin of 11.91% and a return on equity of 52.60%. The firm had revenue of $935.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $919.13 million. On average, research analysts predict that Lincoln Electric will post 8.22 EPS for the current year.

Lincoln Electric Increases Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 13th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, December 31st will be issued a $0.64 dividend. This is a positive change from Lincoln Electric’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 29th. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.67%. Lincoln Electric’s dividend payout ratio is 34.45%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other Lincoln Electric news, CFO Gabriel Bruno sold 2,482 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.15, for a total value of $372,672.30. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,507 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,379,426.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. In related news, CFO Gabriel Bruno sold 2,482 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.15, for a total transaction of $372,672.30. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,507 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,379,426.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Steven B. Hedlund sold 5,991 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.10, for a total transaction of $899,249.10. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 36,843 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,530,134.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 33,431 shares of company stock valued at $4,902,783 over the last three months. Company insiders own 3.16% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Lincoln Electric

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of LECO. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC increased its stake in Lincoln Electric by 5.8% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 2,027 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $279,000 after purchasing an additional 111 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Lincoln Electric by 3.9% during the first quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 19,635 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,706,000 after acquiring an additional 743 shares during the period. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund purchased a new stake in shares of Lincoln Electric in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $591,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Lincoln Electric in the 1st quarter worth approximately $210,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Lincoln Electric by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,200,068 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $716,620,000 after purchasing an additional 38,059 shares in the last quarter. 73.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Lincoln Electric Company Profile

(Get Rating)

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and sells welding, cutting, and brazing products worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Americas Welding, International Welding, and The Harris Products Group. It offers welding products, including arc welding power sources, plasma cutters, wire feeding systems, robotic welding packages, integrated automation systems, fume extraction equipment, consumable electrodes, fluxes and welding accessories, and specialty welding consumables and fabrication products.

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