Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $192.00 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.73% from the stock’s previous close.

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. In addition, it initiated its financial guidance for 2018, anticipating GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share. Organic revenue growth is predicted to be within 3-4% and operating margin to be 25-25.5%. The projections for 2017 (results not yet released) have been reaffirmed, with earnings per share still anticipated to be $6.62-$6.72. Earnings estimates on the stock improved for 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on ITW. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. BMO Capital Markets lowered Illinois Tool Works from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $180.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America began coverage on Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $190.00 price objective for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $166.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Sunday, December 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $168.25.

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) traded down $0.70 during trading on Thursday, hitting $170.32. The stock had a trading volume of 879,647 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,250,000. The firm has a market cap of $58,350.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.12, a P/E/G ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 1.18. Illinois Tool Works has a 52 week low of $122.61 and a 52 week high of $172.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 2.41 and a quick ratio of 1.98.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $3.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a return on equity of 47.21% and a net margin of 16.12%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.50 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Illinois Tool Works news, insider Harold B. Smith sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.43, for a total value of $4,992,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total value of $1,012,615.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 18,622 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,886,410. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Syntal Capital Partners LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 75.1% in the 4th quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC now owns 7,478 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,253,000 after acquiring an additional 3,207 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in Illinois Tool Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 5,478.4% in the 4th quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 28,115 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,691,000 after acquiring an additional 27,611 shares in the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 30.5% in the 4th quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 17,126 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,857,000 after acquiring an additional 3,998 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,126,515 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $187,960,000 after acquiring an additional 38,844 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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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