Astec Industries (ASTE) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Despite a healthy backlog, Astec remains cautious for the fourth quarter due to product mix and contract to delivery dates and holiday schedules. Consequently, it expects fourth-quarter 2017 earnings per share to be sequentially lower. The company does not expect any revenues contribution from the Hazelhurst Georgia pellet plant in 2017. Moreover, Astec's performance will be hurt by low oil prices, volatile steel price prices, and economic and political environment in Brazil. The stock has also underperformed the industry in the past year. Despite the setback on the Georgia and Arkansas plants, the company remains confident on the outlook for pellet plants. Astec Industries remains committed to improve its part sales volume over the long term, along with competitive part sales and service sales. Acquisitions remain a key piece of Astec’s growth strategy, along with organic growth.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Astec Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday. TheStreet downgraded shares of Astec Industries from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised shares of Astec Industries from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $56.00 to $65.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.00.

Shares of Astec Industries (ASTE) opened at $56.46 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $1,305.75, a PE ratio of 33.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 1.05. Astec Industries has a fifty-two week low of $45.70 and a fifty-two week high of $73.37.

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported ($0.12) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.10) by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $252.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $261.06 million. Astec Industries had a net margin of 3.27% and a return on equity of 5.89%. Astec Industries’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. analysts predict that Astec Industries will post 1.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 11.8% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 1,870 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 198 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 17.5% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,938 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 289 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 80.7% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 3,266 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $181,000 after buying an additional 1,459 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 165.2% in the third quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 4,094 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 2,550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Astec Industries in the second quarter worth about $230,000. 79.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Astec Industries Company Profile

Astec Industries, Inc designs, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and components used primarily in road building and related construction activities. Its segments include Infrastructure Group, Aggregate and Mining Group and Energy Group. The Infrastructure Group segment is made up of five business units, including Astec, Inc, Roadtec, Inc, Carlson Paving Products, Inc, Astec Mobile Machinery GmbH and Astec Australia Pty Ltd.

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