Kadant (KAI) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kadant (NYSE:KAI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Kadant Inc. is a leading supplier of a range of products and systems for the global papermaking and paper-recycling industries, including de-inking systems, stock-preparation equipment, water-management systems, and papermaking accessories. Through its majority-owned Thermo Fibergen subsidiary, the company also develops and commercializes composite building materials produced from natural fiber and recycled plastic. Kadant is a public subsidiary of Thermo Electron Corporation.(Press Release) “

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on KAI. Barrington Research reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $112.00 price target on shares of Kadant in a report on Monday, January 28th. ValuEngine cut shares of Kadant from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, March 1st.

Shares of NYSE KAI traded up $1.06 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $96.44. The company had a trading volume of 67,463 shares, compared to its average volume of 60,984. The stock has a market cap of $1.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.53 and a beta of 1.08. Kadant has a 1 year low of $76.44 and a 1 year high of $111.85. The company has a current ratio of 1.96, a quick ratio of 1.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Kadant (NYSE:KAI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The industrial products company reported $1.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $163.94 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $160.67 million. Kadant had a net margin of 9.53% and a return on equity of 17.14%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Kadant will post 5.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 8th. This is a boost from Kadant’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22.

In related news, Director William P. Tully sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.36, for a total transaction of $132,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $459,472. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 5.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of KAI. Handelsbanken Fonder AB grew its position in Kadant by 43.2% during the fourth quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 770,867 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $62,795,000 after buying an additional 232,564 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP grew its position in Kadant by 17.8% during the fourth quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 573,285 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $46,700,000 after buying an additional 86,463 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in Kadant by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 704,600 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $57,396,000 after buying an additional 73,020 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in Kadant by 1,212.7% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 69,942 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $5,697,000 after buying an additional 64,614 shares during the period. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp grew its position in Kadant by 61.5% during the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 93,148 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $7,574,000 after buying an additional 35,459 shares during the period. 93.35% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Kadant

Kadant Inc supplies equipment and critical components used in papermaking, paper recycling, recycling and waste management, and other process industries worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Papermaking Systems and Wood Processing Systems. The Papermaking Systems segment develops, manufactures, and markets custom-engineered stock-preparation systems and equipment for the preparation of wastepaper for conversion into recycled paper and balers, as well as related equipment used in the processing of recyclable and waste materials; and fluid-handling systems and equipment used in industrial piping systems to compensate for movement, as well as to transfer fluid, power, and data.

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