Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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 research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, October 2nd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works to $180.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $190.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price target for the company from $132.00 to $140.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Illinois Tool Works presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $168.25.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) traded up $2.12 on Wednesday, reaching $172.42. 1,250,000 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,200,000. Illinois Tool Works has a one year low of $123.15 and a one year high of $172.64. The company has a market cap of $59,070.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a quick ratio of 1.98, a current ratio of 2.41 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 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 analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th were issued a $0.78 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.81%. Illinois Tool Works’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.85%.

In other news, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of Illinois Tool Works stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total value of $10,188,741.42. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 95,328 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,984,608.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Juan Valls sold 48,622 shares of Illinois Tool Works stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.73, for a total transaction of $7,620,526.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 71,101 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,143,659.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 208,258 shares of company stock worth $33,653,349. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ITW. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,627,699 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,241,417,000 after purchasing an additional 500,583 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,436,577 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,927,540,000 after purchasing an additional 1,118,381 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 5.7% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,964,715 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $586,616,000 after purchasing an additional 212,560 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 13.7% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,920,539 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $561,618,000 after purchasing an additional 471,369 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,884,317 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $269,929,000 after purchasing an additional 12,913 shares during the last quarter. 74.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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