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

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. From 2018 to 2022, the company expects organic revenue growth to be in the 3-5% range, operating margin to be in excess of 25% and earnings per share to grow 8-10% in each year. For 2018, the company anticipates GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share, organic revenue growth to be 3-4% and operating margin to be 25-25.5%. The projections for 2017 have been reaffirmed, with earnings per share still anticipated to be $6.62-$6.72. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on ITW. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $162.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $190.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Wednesday, November 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $168.06.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) traded up $1.80 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $171.02. 1,136,012 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,270,000. The company has a market capitalization of $58,590.00, a P/E ratio of 26.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a current ratio of 2.41, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. Illinois Tool Works has a 52-week low of $122.25 and a 52-week high of $172.00.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last issued 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 firm 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 quarterly revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.50 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Illinois Tool Works news, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total value of $10,188,741.42. Following the sale, the insider now owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at $14,984,608.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Norman D. Jr. Finch acquired 4,986 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $156.34 per share, for a total transaction of $779,511.24. Following the acquisition, the vice president now owns 4,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $683,362.14. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964. Corporate insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ITW. Cetera Investment Advisers bought a new position in shares of Illinois Tool Works in the second quarter worth approximately $601,000. Quantbot Technologies LP lifted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 71.3% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 25,132 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,600,000 after buying an additional 10,457 shares in the last quarter. Ffcm LLC lifted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 6.4% in the second quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 11,851 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,698,000 after buying an additional 714 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 100.8% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,409,208 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $201,869,000 after buying an additional 707,287 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 72.8% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 357,404 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $52,881,000 after buying an additional 150,570 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.73% of the company’s stock.

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About Illinois Tool Works

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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