Investors Buy Shares of Rockwell Automation (ROK) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) on weakness during trading on Friday. $162.51 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $26.57 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $135.94 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Rockwell Automation had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Rockwell Automation traded down ($1.35) for the day and closed at $179.33

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Rockwell Automation to $176.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on shares of Rockwell Automation from $188.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of Rockwell Automation from $158.00 to $166.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Rockwell Automation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Berenberg Bank set a $145.00 price target on shares of Rockwell Automation and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, November 19th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $172.06.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.93. The stock has a market cap of $21.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.36.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The industrial products company reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.99 by $0.22. Rockwell Automation had a return on equity of 66.47% and a net margin of 12.68%. The company had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.96 earnings per share. Rockwell Automation’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Rockwell Automation will post 9.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 11th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were given a $0.97 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 15th. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.16%. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is 47.84%.

In other Rockwell Automation news, insider Elik I. Fooks sold 5,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $177.80, for a total value of $906,780.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 15,597 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,773,146.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Frank C. Kulaszewicz sold 9,231 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $177.70, for a total value of $1,640,348.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 34,893 shares in the company, valued at $6,200,486.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.43% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. JOYN Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Rockwell Automation by 104.4% during the 4th quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 186 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 95 shares in the last quarter. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC purchased a new position in shares of Rockwell Automation during the 4th quarter valued at about $29,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. lifted its position in shares of Rockwell Automation by 3,500.0% during the 4th quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 216 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 210 shares in the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Rockwell Automation during the 4th quarter valued at about $32,000. Finally, Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new stake in Rockwell Automation during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $49,000. 74.84% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Rockwell Automation Company Profile (NYSE:ROK)

Rockwell Automation, Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.

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