Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Illinois Tool Works' shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from its solid product portfolio, strengthening foothold in various end markets and strategic initiatives to improve margins. In third-quarter 2017, earnings of $1.71 per share surpassed its Zacks Consensus Estimates by 3.64%. Businesses in six of seven segments were strong. For 2017, the company anticipates earnings to be within $6.62-$6.72 per share, reflecting 25 cents growth at mid-point. Organic revenue growth is expected to be 2-3% while total revenues are projected to be roughly $14.3 billion. Enterprise initiatives are likely to contribute 100 basis points (bps) to operating margin growth. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $147.00 to $151.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $142.00 to $140.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $162.00 to $158.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Illinois Tool Works has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $157.27.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) traded down 0.58% during trading on Monday, hitting $158.14. The stock had a trading volume of 405,703 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $150.09 and its 200-day moving average is $143.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $54.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.59 and a beta of 1.12. Illinois Tool Works has a 12-month low of $111.53 and a 12-month high of $159.36.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $3.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 16.12% and a return on equity of 47.21%. The company’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.50 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Illinois Tool Works will post $6.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total value of $10,188,741.42. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at $14,984,608.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Norman D. Jr. Finch acquired 4,986 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was bought at an average price of $156.34 per share, with a total value of $779,511.24. Following the completion of the acquisition, the vice president now directly owns 4,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $683,362.14. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 126,506 shares of company stock valued at $19,801,832 over the last 90 days. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Omnia Family Wealth LLC boosted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% during the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 747 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 2 shares during the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.5% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,059 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% during the second quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 3,638 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $521,000 after acquiring an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 1.1% during the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 977 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $140,000 after acquiring an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV boosted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 0.4% during the second quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 3,607 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $518,000 after acquiring an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. 74.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Illinois Tool Works Company Profile

Illinois Tool Works Inc is a manufacturer of industrial products and equipment. The Company operates through seven segments. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces test and measurement, and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions.

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Analyst Recommendations for Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW)

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