Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) to “Buy”

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, January 11th. The firm currently has a $78.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.63% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “In a month, Applied Industrial's shares have outperformed the industry. In the quarters ahead, the company will gain from its healthy service-center distribution, upstream oil and gas and fluid power businesses. These along with benefits from acquired assets will drive revenues, while higher sales and greater cost and operational discipline will boost margins. In first-quarter fiscal 2018, the company's earnings of 86 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cents. Quarterly revenues outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.1%. The stellar performance was backed by robust demand, acquisition-related benefits and favorable foreign currency-translation impact.”

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on AIT. Wellington Shields upgraded Applied Industrial Technologies to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine downgraded Applied Industrial Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.50.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE AIT) traded up $0.95 during trading on Thursday, hitting $71.15. The stock had a trading volume of 228,944 shares, compared to its average volume of 211,648. Applied Industrial Technologies has a twelve month low of $54.00 and a twelve month high of $71.75. The firm has a market cap of $2,761.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.99, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a current ratio of 3.13, a quick ratio of 1.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $680.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $668.18 million. Applied Industrial Technologies had a return on equity of 16.25% and a net margin of 5.29%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.70 EPS. research analysts expect that Applied Industrial Technologies will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 347,092 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $23,637,000 after purchasing an additional 3,527 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 5.7% during the 4th quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 16,700 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,137,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares during the period. Sit Investment Associates Inc. increased its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 415.5% during the 4th quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 23,715 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,615,000 after purchasing an additional 19,115 shares during the period. Fruth Investment Management increased its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 19.9% during the 4th quarter. Fruth Investment Management now owns 24,700 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,682,000 after purchasing an additional 4,100 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 243.7% during the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 14,733 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $969,000 after purchasing an additional 10,447 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.90% of the company’s stock.

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About Applied Industrial Technologies

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc is an industrial distributor in North America, Australia and New Zealand, serving maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and original equipment manufacturing customers in various industries. In addition, the Company provides engineering, design, and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, and fluid power shop services.

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