Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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 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.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on ITW. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday. Bank of America began 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 on the stock. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Illinois Tool Works from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $180.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $166.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Sunday, December 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $168.25.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded up $2.10 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $172.42. 1,237,813 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 962,878. The firm has a market cap of $58,351.46, a PE ratio of 26.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 1.18. Illinois Tool Works has a 12-month low of $122.61 and a 12-month high of $172.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.41.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th were paid a dividend of $0.78 per share. The ex-dividend date 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 47.78%.

In other news, insider Harold B. Smith sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.43, for a total transaction of $4,992,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at $14,984,608.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 208,258 shares of company stock worth $33,653,349 over the last ninety days. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ITW. Beach Investment Management LLC. purchased a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,073,000. Dupont Capital Management Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 20.0% during the 2nd quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 13,086 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,875,000 after acquiring an additional 2,183 shares during the period. LMR Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works during the 2nd quarter worth about $3,016,000. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its holdings in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 33.3% during the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 261,645 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $37,481,000 after acquiring an additional 65,290 shares during the period. Finally, Horan Capital Advisors LLC. lifted its holdings in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. now owns 18,001 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,579,000 after acquiring an additional 447 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.73% of the company’s stock.

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Illinois Tool Works Company Profile

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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