Rockwell Automation (ROK) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $202.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Rockwell Automation expects its adjusted EPS will be within $7.70 and $8.00 in fiscal 2018, depicting favorable manufacturing environment, positive macroeconomic indicators and strong first-half results. At the mid-point, EPS represents 16% year-over-year growth. It anticipates sales to be about $6.7 billion for the fiscal. Heavy industries will be the largest growth driver, backed by growth in emerging markets, and strong demand for metals and semiconductor. The positive impact of tax reform, increased investment, share repurchases and dividend hikes also remain catalysts for growth. Moreover, the stock has outperformed the industry in the past year.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Cowen raised their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $165.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Barclays assumed coverage on shares of Rockwell Automation in a report on Thursday, February 15th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $200.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $206.00 to $187.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $182.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $190.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $186.21.

Rockwell Automation opened at $178.57 on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The company has a market cap of $22.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 1.28. Rockwell Automation has a one year low of $155.81 and a one year high of $210.72. The company has a current ratio of 2.10, a quick ratio of 1.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.82 by $0.07. Rockwell Automation had a net margin of 6.34% and a return on equity of 42.38%. The firm had revenue of $1.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.66 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.55 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Rockwell Automation will post 7.88 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 11th. Investors of record on Monday, May 14th will be issued a $0.92 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 11th. This represents a $3.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.06%. This is a boost from Rockwell Automation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.84. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is 54.44%.

In related news, insider John P. Mcdermott sold 2,050 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $187.90, for a total value of $385,195.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 40,353 shares in the company, valued at $7,582,328.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Sujeet Chand sold 4,900 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction on Friday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.46, for a total transaction of $894,054.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 49,327 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,000,204.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.65% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC lifted its position in Rockwell Automation by 333.3% during the first quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC now owns 676 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the fourth quarter valued at $130,000. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the first quarter valued at $139,000. Signaturefd LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the first quarter valued at $141,000. Finally, Cpwm LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the fourth quarter valued at $204,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.98% of the company’s stock.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.

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