Valspar Corp. (NYSE:VAL) shares saw strong trading volume on Wednesday . 632,703 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 95% from the previous session’s volume of 324,047 shares.The stock last traded at $106.53 and had previously closed at $105.60.

VAL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Valspar Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Valspar Corp. in a research note on Thursday, June 16th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Valspar Corp. in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Valspar Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Barclays PLC set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Valspar Corp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $98.14.

The stock has a market capitalization of $8.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.48 and a beta of 1.44. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $105.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $105.00.

Valspar Corp. (NYSE:VAL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, September 7th. The company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.12. The business earned $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.18 billion. Valspar Corp. had a net margin of 8.31% and a return on equity of 41.74%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.33 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Valspar Corp. will post $4.95 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.24%. Valspar Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.41%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VAL. Citigroup Inc. raised its position in shares of Valspar Corp. by 642.1% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 2,314,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $250,078,000 after buying an additional 2,002,957 shares in the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in shares of Valspar Corp. by 129.2% in the second quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 1,440,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $155,648,000 after buying an additional 812,156 shares in the last quarter. Magnetar Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Valspar Corp. during the first quarter worth about $83,668,000. Westchester Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Valspar Corp. by 142.9% in the second quarter. Westchester Capital Management LLC now owns 1,293,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,750,000 after buying an additional 761,014 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Valspar Corp. during the fourth quarter worth about $54,037,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.96% of the company’s stock.

About Valspar Corp.

The Valspar Corporation is engaged in developing, manufacturing and distributing a range of coatings, paints and related products. The Company operates through two segments: Coatings and Paints. The Coatings segment includes its industrial product lines and packaging product line. The Company offers decorative and protective coatings for metal, wood and plastic primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturing (OEM) customers in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VAL

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