Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Illinois Tool Works (ITW) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Illinois Tool Works' shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from its solid product portfolio, strengthening foothold in various end markets and strategic initiatives to improve margins. From 2018 to 2022, the company expects organic revenue growth to be in the 3-5% range, operating margin to be in excess of 25% and earnings per share to grow 8-10% in each year. For 2018, the company anticipates GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share, organic revenue growth to be 3-4% and operating margin to be 25-25.5%. The projections for 2017 have been reaffirmed, with earnings per share still anticipated to be $6.62-$6.72. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works to $180.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $190.00 price objective for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and increased their price objective for the company from $132.00 to $140.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $143.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $166.31.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded up $1.52 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $170.52. 953,180 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,310,000. Illinois Tool Works has a 52 week low of $120.06 and a 52 week high of $171.52. The firm has a market cap of $58,420.00, a PE ratio of 26.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a current ratio of 2.41, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.65 by $0.20. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 16.12% and a return on equity of 47.21%. The company had revenue of $3.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.50 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th were given a dividend of $0.78 per share. This represents a $3.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 28th. Illinois Tool Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.85%.

In related news, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,984,608.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total transaction of $1,012,615.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 18,622 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,886,410. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 214,791 shares of company stock valued at $34,665,964 in the last quarter. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Omnia Family Wealth LLC increased its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 747 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 2 shares in the last quarter. Private Vista LLC increased its position in Illinois Tool Works by 13,697.3% in the 2nd quarter. Private Vista LLC now owns 279,534 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 277,508 shares in the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP acquired a new stake in Illinois Tool Works in the 2nd quarter valued at about $115,000. WFG Advisors LP increased its position in Illinois Tool Works by 24.7% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 812 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 161 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its position in Illinois Tool Works by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 900 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $129,000 after acquiring an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.70% of the company’s stock.

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About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc is a manufacturer of industrial products and equipment. The Company operates through seven segments. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces test and measurement, and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions.

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