Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The firm presently has a $66.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 10.83% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the last year, Applied Industrial’s shares outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Quarterly adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The company believes that robust upstream business, sturdy performance of the U.S. fluid power business, and superior customer servicing skills will likely bolster its top-line performance in the quarters ahead. Moreover, sound restructuring moves, greater productivity and increased cost discipline are projected to strengthen the company’s near-term bottom-line performances. Notably, the company remains committed towards its shareholders. Over the last 60 days Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock moved north for both fiscal 2018 and 2019.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on AIT. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 price objective (down from $67.00) on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Northcoast Research began coverage on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.50.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) opened at 59.30 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $56.35 and its 200-day moving average price is $59.81. The company has a market capitalization of $2.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.44 and a beta of 0.92. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 52-week low of $43.50 and a 52-week high of $69.00.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 11th. The industrial products company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.56. Applied Industrial Technologies had a net margin of 5.16% and a return on equity of 15.89%. The business had revenue of $681.47 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $680.20 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Applied Industrial Technologies will post $3.10 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 11,854 shares of Applied Industrial Technologies stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.76, for a total value of $660,979.04. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 147,029 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,198,337.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 4,939 shares of Applied Industrial Technologies stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.91, for a total transaction of $276,139.49. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 106,090 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,931,491.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 73,571 shares of company stock worth $4,070,841. Corporate insiders own 4.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of AIT. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 53.3% in the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,300 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Smith Asset Management Group LP purchased a new position in Applied Industrial Technologies in the 2nd quarter worth $113,000. Neuburgh Advisers LLC raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the 1st quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 1,892 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 116.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,798 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $121,000 after purchasing an additional 1,505 shares during the period. Finally, Tyers Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Applied Industrial Technologies in the 4th quarter worth $135,000. Institutional investors own 88.03% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Industrial Technologies

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc is an industrial distributor in North America, Australia and New Zealand, serving maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and original equipment manufacturing customers in various industries. In addition, the Company provides engineering, design, and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, and fluid power shop services.

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