Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its stake in Watsco, Inc. (NYSE:WSO) by 3.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 60,717 shares of the construction company’s stock after buying an additional 2,035 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama’s holdings in Watsco were worth $9,363,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 5,677.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,656,561 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $380,367,000 after buying an additional 2,610,583 shares during the last quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Watsco during the first quarter valued at approximately $80,907,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 26.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,454,099 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $351,379,000 after buying an additional 517,615 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Watsco by 110.4% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 566,005 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $80,991,000 after buying an additional 296,959 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Watsco during the second quarter valued at approximately $31,782,000. 81.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Watsco, Inc. (WSO) opened at 147.33 on Friday. Watsco, Inc. has a 12-month low of $128.60 and a 12-month high of $159.55. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $151.74 and its 200-day moving average price is $147.07. The company has a market cap of $4.82 billion, a PE ratio of 27.24 and a beta of 0.83.

Watsco (NYSE:WSO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The construction company reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.29 billion. Watsco had a net margin of 4.29% and a return on equity of 14.52%. Watsco’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.82 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Watsco, Inc. will post $5.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 31st. Investors of record on Monday, July 17th were issued a $1.25 dividend. This is a positive change from Watsco’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.05. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 13th. This represents a $5.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.39%. Watsco’s payout ratio is presently 93.11%.

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Several analysts recently commented on WSO shares. Seaport Global Securities raised Watsco from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $145.00 to $160.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Watsco from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on Watsco from $152.00 to $163.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. BidaskClub downgraded Watsco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “underweight” rating and set a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Watsco in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $163.20.

About Watsco

Watsco, Inc is a distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment, and related parts and supplies (HVAC/R) in the HVAC/R distribution industry in North America. As of December 31, 2016, the Company sold a range of non-equipment products, representing more than 300,000 stock keeping units, including parts, ductwork, air movement products, insulation, tools, installation supplies, thermostats and air quality products.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Watsco (NYSE:WSO)

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