Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln Electric’s top and bottom lines registered year-over-year growth in second-quarter 2017, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both counts. The company anticipates modest year-over-year sales and margin growth in the second half of 2017. Lincoln Electric will gain from continued investment in the marketing strategy for the retail channel. The Air Liquide acquisition will enhance its 2020 Vision and Strategy. Improving end markets, tax benefits and acquisition strength will drive growth. Progress in organic growth in China and Australia also remain tailwinds. Over the past one year, Lincoln Electric strongly outperformed the industry's return on the back of these factors. However, elevated interest expenses, stronger U.S. dollar and weakness in industrial production remain tailwinds.”

LECO has been the topic of several other research reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Deutsche Bank AG lowered their price objective on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings from $100.00 to $90.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $93.00 price objective on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating and set a $88.00 price objective (up previously from $86.00) on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. Finally, Barclays PLC restated an equal weight rating and set a $82.00 price objective (up previously from $75.00) on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $88.00.

Shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ LECO) traded down 0.212% on Friday, hitting $87.075. 92,155 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $5.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.166 and a beta of 0.98. Lincoln Electric Holdings has a 52 week low of $59.27 and a 52 week high of $97.97. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $92.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $88.09.

Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.03. Lincoln Electric Holdings had a net margin of 9.86% and a return on equity of 30.55%. The firm had revenue of $626.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $620.28 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Lincoln Electric Holdings will post $3.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be given a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.60%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. Lincoln Electric Holdings’s payout ratio is 40.46%.

In other Lincoln Electric Holdings news, VP Gabriel Bruno sold 5,630 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.33, for a total value of $536,707.90. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 24,339 shares in the company, valued at $2,320,236.87. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director William E. Macdonald III sold 5,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.71, for a total transaction of $493,405.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 17,416 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,562,389.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 55,930 shares of company stock worth $5,079,686 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 3.27% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 4,647.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,967,690 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $431,493,000 after buying an additional 4,863,057 shares during the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Lincoln Electric Holdings during the first quarter worth about $39,506,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 5.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,382,545 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $467,527,000 after buying an additional 267,768 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 232.0% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 229,765 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $19,957,000 after buying an additional 160,556 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Marathon Asset Management LLP boosted its position in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 193.1% in the second quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP now owns 218,915 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $20,235,000 after buying an additional 144,222 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.06% of the company’s stock.

Lincoln Electric Holdings 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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