Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday. The firm currently has $189.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

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 (results not yet released) have been reaffirmed, with earnings per share still anticipated to be $6.62-$6.72. Earnings estimates on the stock improved for 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in 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 for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They set a buy rating and a $190.00 price objective for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $166.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Sunday, December 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, December 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Illinois Tool Works has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $166.31.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded up $1.52 on Friday, hitting $170.52. 953,200 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,320,278. Illinois Tool Works has a 52 week low of $122.25 and a 52 week high of $171.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $58,420.00, a PE ratio of 26.15, a PEG ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.18.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.50 earnings per share. Illinois Tool Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th were paid a $0.78 dividend. This represents a $3.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. Illinois Tool Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.85%.

In other Illinois Tool Works news, VP Norman D. Jr. Finch acquired 4,986 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $156.34 per share, with a total value of $779,511.24. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now owns 4,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $683,362.14. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at $14,984,608.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ITW. Omnia Family Wealth LLC lifted its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% during the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 747 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 2 shares in the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.5% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,059 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $151,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% during the second quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 3,638 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $521,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV lifted its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.4% during the second quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 3,607 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $518,000 after purchasing an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 1.9% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 900 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $129,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. 74.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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