Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln Electric stands to gain from its improving end markets. Focus on commercializing innovative products, relatively stable pricing environment and cost-cutting initiatives will drive growth. It will also benefit from consistent investment in welding automation. Further, the acquisition of Air Liquide will enhance 2020 Vision and Strategy and enables Lincoln to build its global footprint. It will also be accretive to earnings. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises. Raw material inflation will impact margins in fourth-quarter 2017 as well as in 2018. A stronger U.S. dollar will continue to affect the company’s exports. The stock has underperformed the industry, over the past year. “

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. FBR & Co reissued a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective (up from $105.00) on shares of Lincoln Electric in a report on Friday, October 27th. Barclays initiated coverage on Lincoln Electric in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $90.00 price objective for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Lincoln Electric in a report on Monday, October 30th. Oppenheimer reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Lincoln Electric in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on shares of Lincoln Electric in a report on Friday, October 13th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Lincoln Electric has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $102.63.

Shares of Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) traded up $1.16 on Wednesday, hitting $99.03. The company had a trading volume of 659,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 452,320. Lincoln Electric has a one year low of $79.98 and a one year high of $100.68. The stock has a market capitalization of $6,510.00, a P/E ratio of 23.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a quick ratio of 1.83, a current ratio of 2.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75.

Lincoln Electric (NASDAQ:LECO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The industrial products company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.94 by ($0.01). Lincoln Electric had a net margin of 11.34% and a return on equity of 28.97%. The firm had revenue of $669.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $658.48 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.89 earnings per share. Lincoln Electric’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Lincoln Electric will post 3.75 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Lincoln Electric by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,471,416 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $503,862,000 after acquiring an additional 88,871 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Lincoln Electric by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,016,540 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $461,973,000 after acquiring an additional 48,850 shares during the period. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt boosted its holdings in shares of Lincoln Electric by 8.3% in the third quarter. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt now owns 1,300,000 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $119,184,000 after acquiring an additional 100,000 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Lincoln Electric by 2.6% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 1,099,558 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $100,807,000 after acquiring an additional 27,495 shares during the period. Finally, Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of Lincoln Electric in the second quarter worth $990,000. 63.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Lincoln Electric Company Profile

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc is a manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products. The Company operates through three segments: Americas Welding, International Welding and The Harris Products Group. The Americas Welding segment includes welding operations in North and South America. The International Welding segment primarily includes welding operations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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