Zacks Investment Research Lowers Illinois Tool Works (ITW) to Hold

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

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 research analysts have also commented on ITW. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $147.00 price target (up from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $162.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $168.25.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded up $0.97 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $173.39. 1,142,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,263,564. Illinois Tool Works has a one year low of $123.15 and a one year high of $173.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $59,250.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.18.

In related news, VP Norman D. Jr. Finch purchased 4,986 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $156.34 per share, with a total value of $779,511.24. Following the purchase, the vice president now owns 4,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $683,362.14. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at $14,984,608.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 208,258 shares of company stock worth $33,653,349 over the last ninety days. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ITW. Beach Investment Management LLC. purchased a new position in Illinois Tool Works in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,073,000. Sicart Associates LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 25.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sicart Associates LLC now owns 2,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $358,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Wayne Hummer Investments L.L.C. lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Wayne Hummer Investments L.L.C. now owns 11,158 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,598,000 after buying an additional 339 shares in the last quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 1,462 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. Finally, RiverPoint Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. RiverPoint Capital Management LLC now owns 6,634 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $950,000 after acquiring an additional 134 shares during the last quarter. 74.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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