Woodward (WWD) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Saturday. The firm currently has a $90.00 target price on the technology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 7.90% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Woodward stands to benefit from increased global usage of natural gas as a source of electricity and transportation fuel. Solid order backlogs for the new aircraft models have been boosting Woodward’s production level.  The company's strong balance sheet and a steady cash flow position offers substantial financial flexibility as well as a cushion for an incremental dividend and ongoing share repurchases. It has also been investing in new manufacturing units and automation equipment to perk up efficiency. However, persistent weakness in large capital projects remains one of the major dampeners for Woodward's industrial segment. “

A number of other research analysts have also commented on WWD. BidaskClub raised Woodward from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, September 23rd. Wood & Company lowered Woodward from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Oppenheimer reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Woodward in a report on Thursday, October 26th. SunTrust Banks raised their price target on Woodward to $77.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Woodward in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Woodward has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $79.25.

Shares of Woodward (NASDAQ WWD) traded up $0.76 on Friday, hitting $83.41. The stock had a trading volume of 367,497 shares, compared to its average volume of 299,737. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,062.43, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 2.39 and a quick ratio of 1.28. Woodward has a 52 week low of $65.22 and a 52 week high of $84.23.

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $606.79 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $596.99 million. Woodward had a return on equity of 15.55% and a net margin of 9.55%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.99 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Woodward will post 3.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Mary L. Petrovich sold 5,700 shares of Woodward stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.69, for a total transaction of $454,233.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 27,904 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,223,669.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 6.17% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Advisor Group Inc. grew its holdings in Woodward by 9.8% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,654 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 147 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its holdings in Woodward by 5.8% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,115 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $211,000 after acquiring an additional 171 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in Woodward by 9.5% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,190 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $148,000 after acquiring an additional 190 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank grew its holdings in Woodward by 5.1% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 7,684 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $519,000 after acquiring an additional 373 shares during the period. Finally, Virtu KCG Holdings LLC grew its holdings in Woodward by 5.6% during the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 10,152 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $686,000 after acquiring an additional 540 shares during the period. 72.12% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Woodward Company Profile

Woodward, Inc is an independent designer, manufacturer and service provider of energy control and optimization solutions. The Company designs, produces and services energy control products for various applications. The Company’s segments include Aerospace and Industrial. The Company’s Aerospace segment designs, manufactures and services systems and products for the management of fuel, air, combustion and motion control.

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