We have issued an updated research report on Graco Inc. (GGG - Free Report) on Mar 5.
The company, with a market capitalization of $7.8 billion, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Certain growth drivers and headwinds that might influence Graco have been discussed below.
Factors Favoring Graco
Profitability and Share Price Performance: In the fourth quarter of 2018, Graco’s earnings increased 26% year over year. Results were driven by solid sales growth, lower tax expenses and roughly 2.7% fall in share count. In the quarters ahead, the company anticipates solid sales performance, cost-reduction moves, pricing actions and lower corporate taxes to boost profitability.
In the past three months, Graco's shares have increased 12.4%, outperforming the industry’s growth of 8%.
Revenue Prospects: In the fourth quarter of 2018, Graco’s revenues increased 8% year over year on the back of organic growth and acquired assets. Demand was strong across the majority of end markets served by the company. In the quarters ahead, strengthening end markets and launch of products will benefit Graco. The company launched LineLazer V ES 2000 and LineDriver ES system line stripers in March, and airless spraying technologies — including FinishProTM II 595, Ultra, UltraMAXTM II, TexSpray Mark, GMAX and TexSpray HD — in February.
For 2019, Graco anticipates organic sales to grow in a mid-single digit.
Capital-Allocation Strategy: Graco invests in acquisitions, product development, rewarding shareholders handsomely and capacity expansion. In 2018, the company used $53.9 million for purchasing property, plant and equipment as well as $88.8 million for distributing dividends and $244.8 million for repurchasing 5.7 million shares.
For 2019, the company intends to invest $40 million for rolling out machinery and equipment, and $100-$110 million for facility expansion projects.
Factors Working Against Graco
Poor Valuation and Earnings Estimates: In the past three months, Graco’s shares appear overvalued compared with the industry on a price-to-earnings (P/E) basis. The company’s P/E is 25.2x versus the industry’s 20.2x. Also, the stock’s metric is in line with the three-month highest level.
Moreover, the company’s earnings estimates for 2019 have been decreased by three brokerage firms and raised by two. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $2.01, down roughly 0.5% from the 60-day-ago tally of $2.02.
Graco Inc. Price and Consensus