Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Illinois Tool Works (ITW) to “Buy”

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $186.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.03% from the company’s current price.

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. In addition, it initiated its financial guidance for 2018, anticipating GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share. Organic revenue growth is predicted to be within 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. Earnings estimates on the stock improved for both 2017 (results not yet released) and 2018 in the last 60 days.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on ITW. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $190.00 target price on the stock. BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $180.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $166.00 target price on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $160.00 target price on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Sunday, December 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $190.00 target price on shares of Illinois Tool Works and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, December 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $166.13.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) opened at $166.03 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $56,880.00, a PE ratio of 25.46, a PEG ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 2.41 and a quick ratio of 1.98. Illinois Tool Works has a 1 year low of $120.06 and a 1 year high of $169.69.

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

In related news, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total value of $1,012,615.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 18,622 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,886,410. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Harold B. Smith sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.43, for a total transaction of $4,992,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cetera Investment Advisers bought a new position in Illinois Tool Works during the 2nd quarter valued at about $601,000. Quantbot Technologies LP lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 71.3% during the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 25,132 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,600,000 after acquiring an additional 10,457 shares during the period. Ffcm LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 6.4% during the 2nd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 11,851 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,698,000 after acquiring an additional 714 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 100.8% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,409,208 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $201,869,000 after acquiring an additional 707,287 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 72.8% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 357,404 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $52,881,000 after acquiring an additional 150,570 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.70% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW)

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