Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Badger Meter will gain from acceleration in large metering projects, rebound in flow instrumentation and strong pricing structure. The D-Flow Technology acquisition will also boost the company’s ultrasonic capabilities. Further, its cost reductions efforts will boost margins. Badger Meter also anticipates that the consistent strength of core water meter business, led by the latest products and recovery in the flow instrumentation business will drive growth. Moreover, rebound in oil prices and continued growth of new products in the municipal water market remain tailwinds for Badger Meter. Driven by these positives, the stock has outperformed the broader industry year to date. However, delayed orders of the ORION Cellular LTE endpoint will likely thwart municipal water sales of Badger Meter. Further, disturbances in the Middle East and higher cost of raw materials remain headwinds.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on BMI. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of Badger Meter in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. BidaskClub raised Badger Meter from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Sidoti reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target (up previously from $50.00) on shares of Badger Meter in a report on Monday, June 19th. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on Badger Meter in a report on Monday. They issued a “hold” rating and a $43.00 price target for the company. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Badger Meter in a report on Friday, July 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $42.25.

Badger Meter (NYSE BMI) traded up 0.76% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $46.60. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 60,151 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $45.01 and a 200 day moving average of $40.39. Badger Meter has a one year low of $29.30 and a one year high of $46.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.49 and a beta of 0.57.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $104.17 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $108.02 million. Badger Meter had a return on equity of 13.19% and a net margin of 8.67%. Badger Meter’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.65 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Badger Meter will post $1.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Badger Meter news, VP Beverly L. P. Smiley sold 19,610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.14, for a total transaction of $885,195.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 68,926 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,111,319.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman Richard A. Meeusen sold 16,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.61, for a total value of $736,065.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 164,620 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,343,698.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 63,340 shares of company stock valued at $2,859,651. 4.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Badger Meter by 24,345.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,496,500 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $128,499,000 after buying an additional 3,482,197 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Badger Meter by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,828,174 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $112,703,000 after buying an additional 33,137 shares in the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Badger Meter by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 1,658,855 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $66,105,000 after buying an additional 41,724 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Badger Meter by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,127,376 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $44,926,000 after buying an additional 10,712 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in Badger Meter by 34.4% during the 1st quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 954,492 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $35,077,000 after buying an additional 244,086 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.96% of the company’s stock.

About Badger Meter

Badger Meter, Inc is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating flow measurement, control and communication solutions, serving water utilities, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers around the world. The Company’s products measure water, oil, chemicals and other fluids, provide and communicate timely measurement data.

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