Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday, January 17th.

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.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on ITW. Citigroup reissued a buy rating and set a $162.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and set a $147.00 price target (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Illinois Tool Works from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $132.00 to $140.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $170.00 price objective on Illinois Tool Works and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a sector perform rating and set a $155.00 price objective (up previously from $143.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Friday, October 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $177.18.

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) traded up $1.29 on Wednesday, hitting $161.42. The stock had a trading volume of 1,762,603 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,470,000. The stock has a market cap of $55,300.00, a P/E ratio of 33.28, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a current ratio of 2.38, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.63. Illinois Tool Works has a fifty-two week low of $127.18 and a fifty-two week high of $179.07.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.08. Illinois Tool Works had a return on equity of 48.42% and a net margin of 11.79%. The business had revenue of $3.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.54 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.39 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Illinois Tool Works will post 7.71 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Sundaram Nagarajan sold 18,650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $178.00, for a total transaction of $3,319,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 42,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,564,466. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Roland M. Martel sold 64,818 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $167.41, for a total value of $10,851,181.38. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 26,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,389,825.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 113,468 shares of company stock valued at $19,163,781 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Legacy Advisors LLC lifted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 988.9% in the fourth quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC now owns 686 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 623 shares during the period. Omnia Family Wealth LLC increased its holdings in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% in the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 747 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 2 shares in the last quarter. Santori & Peters Inc. bought a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works in the fourth quarter valued at $121,000. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. bought a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works in the fourth quarter valued at $130,000. Finally, Harding Loevner LP bought a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works in the second quarter valued at $115,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.63% 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.

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