Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, Illinois Tool Works' shares have underperformed the industry. We believe that the company is exposed to headwinds arising from unfavorable foreign currency movements, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties. Also, a high debt level, if unchecked, will increase the company's financial obligations and prove detrimental to its profitability. Exiting fourth-quarter 2017, the company's long-term debt was approximately $7.5 billion. Moreover, industry rivalry and difficulties or delays in research and development or production and services, along with the failure of new products and technologies in the market, may significantly impact the company's competitive position.”

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ITW has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised Illinois Tool Works from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Illinois Tool Works from $163.00 to $166.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on Illinois Tool Works from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $175.41.

ITW stock opened at $159.09 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.98, a current ratio of 2.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.63. The firm has a market cap of $53,953.97, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.24. Illinois Tool Works has a 52-week low of $132.52 and a 52-week high of $179.07.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Friday, March 30th were paid a dividend of $0.78 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.96%. Illinois Tool Works’s payout ratio is 47.34%.

In related news, insider Sundaram Nagarajan sold 18,650 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 approximately $7,564,466. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 2.8% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,345,059 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $556,967,000 after purchasing an additional 90,737 shares in the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 4.6% during the 4th quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,272,210 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $212,268,000 after buying an additional 56,099 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 35.8% during the 4th quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,247,440 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $208,135,000 after buying an additional 329,115 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,126,515 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $187,960,000 after buying an additional 38,844 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 894,961 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $149,324,000 after buying an additional 14,585 shares during the last quarter. 77.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Illinois Tool Works Company Profile

Illinois Tool Works Inc manufactures and sells industrial products and equipment worldwide. It operates through seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The Automotive OEM segment offers plastic and metal components, fasteners, and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks, and other industrial uses.

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