Highland Capital Management LLC Buys New Position in Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG)

Highland Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund acquired 18,771 shares of the industrial products company’s stock, valued at approximately $870,000.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Graco by 51.9% during the 2nd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,086 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $185,000 after purchasing an additional 1,396 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in Graco by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 47,639 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,154,000 after buying an additional 1,461 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. raised its stake in shares of Graco by 25.2% in the 2nd quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 8,166 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $369,000 after purchasing an additional 1,644 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Graco by 18.1% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 10,930 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $494,000 after purchasing an additional 1,675 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Graco by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 116,365 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $5,262,000 after purchasing an additional 1,762 shares in the last quarter. 85.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In related news, insider Caroline M. Chambers sold 97,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.10, for a total value of $4,592,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 119,092 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,609,233.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jack W. Eugster sold 32,297 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.66, for a total transaction of $1,506,978.02. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 103,251 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,817,691.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

GGG has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of Graco from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Graco in a research note on Wednesday, August 22nd. DA Davidson set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Graco and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 20th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Graco in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graco from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Graco has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.67.

NYSE GGG traded down $0.56 on Friday, hitting $43.15. The stock had a trading volume of 705,733 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,272,375. Graco Inc. has a one year low of $37.36 and a one year high of $49.69. The company has a current ratio of 2.77, a quick ratio of 1.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. The stock has a market cap of $7.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 1.17.

Graco (NYSE:GGG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $415.94 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $403.62 million. Graco had a net margin of 18.73% and a return on equity of 42.19%. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Graco Inc. will post 1.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 22nd were issued a $0.1325 dividend. This represents a $0.53 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 19th. Graco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.06%.

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Graco Profile

Graco Inc designs, manufactures, and markets systems and equipment used to move, measure, control, dispense, and spray fluid and powder materials worldwide. Its Industrial segment offers proportioning systems that are used to spray polyurethane foam and polyurea coatings; vapor-abrasive blasting equipment; equipment that pumps, meters, mixes, and dispenses sealant, adhesive, and composite materials; and gel coat equipment, chop and wet-out systems, resin transfer molding systems, and applicators.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Graco (NYSE:GGG)

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