Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $168.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “For fiscal 2019, Rockwell Automation expects adjusted EPS at $8.85-$9.15, which represents 14.6% year-over-year growth at the mid-point. It also anticipates organic sales grow 3.7-5.3%. The company will gain from favorable manufacturing environment, strength in heavy industries and positive macroeconomic indicators. Growing investment and acquisitions will also fuel growth. Rockwell Automation is also actively engaged in the evaluation of inorganic opportunities to accelerate the Connected Enterprise strategy. Rockwell Automation will continue to return excess cash to share owners through dividends and repurchases. However, Rockwell Automation expects that softness in the automotive market will hurt its performance in fiscal 2019. Moreover, the company will bear the brunt of currency fluctuations and tariffs.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price target on Axalta Coating Systems and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Morgan Stanley set a $18.00 target price on PG&E and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on Rockwell Automation from $173.00 to $186.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $95.00 target price on Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Gabelli raised Rockwell Automation from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $160.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Rockwell Automation has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $174.71.

Shares of Rockwell Automation stock opened at $159.95 on Thursday. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $158.81. Rockwell Automation has a 1 year low of $141.46 and a 1 year high of $198.23. The firm has a market cap of $18.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 1.43. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $2.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.11 by ($0.07). Rockwell Automation had a net margin of 14.43% and a return on equity of 73.82%. The business had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.71 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.89 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Rockwell Automation will post 8.84 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Investors of record on Monday, August 12th will be given a $0.97 dividend. This represents a $3.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 9th. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is currently 47.84%.

In other Rockwell Automation news, SVP Michael Laszkiewicz sold 263 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.38, for a total value of $41,916.94. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Blake D. Moret sold 297 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.53, for a total value of $47,974.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 613 shares of company stock worth $99,284 in the last 90 days. 1.43% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Rockwell Automation during the second quarter worth about $357,000. Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Rockwell Automation during the second quarter worth about $14,268,000. Telos Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Rockwell Automation during the second quarter worth about $1,930,000. Crossvault Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 1.3% during the second quarter. Crossvault Capital Management LLC now owns 33,118 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $5,426,000 after purchasing an additional 420 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its stake in shares of Rockwell Automation by 35.9% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 52,180 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $8,548,000 after acquiring an additional 13,781 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.04% of the company’s stock.

About Rockwell Automation

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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