BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lessened its stake in shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) by 14.4% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 46,039 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after selling 7,766 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp’s holdings in Rockwell Automation were worth $8,633,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt increased its stake in Rockwell Automation by 14.7% during the 3rd quarter. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt now owns 2,728,265 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $511,632,000 after acquiring an additional 350,000 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in Rockwell Automation by 7.5% during the 3rd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 1,847,004 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $346,362,000 after acquiring an additional 128,265 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Rockwell Automation by 7.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,466,948 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $275,082,000 after acquiring an additional 101,289 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Rockwell Automation by 23.2% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,224,685 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $203,581,000 after acquiring an additional 230,688 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Rockwell Automation by 17.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,106,721 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $207,533,000 after acquiring an additional 164,984 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.18% of the company’s stock.
Shares of ROK stock opened at $161.55 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.29. Rockwell Automation has a fifty-two week low of $153.67 and a fifty-two week high of $209.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.27.
Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The industrial products company reported $2.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.09. Rockwell Automation had a return on equity of 57.53% and a net margin of 8.03%. The firm had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.77 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.69 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Rockwell Automation will post 9.03 earnings per share for the current year.
Rockwell Automation announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, September 6th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to reacquire up to 4.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 10th. Investors of record on Monday, November 12th will be issued a dividend of $0.97 per share. This is an increase from Rockwell Automation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.92. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.40%. Rockwell Automation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.84%.
In related news, insider Theodore D. Crandall sold 13,420 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.77, for a total transaction of $2,358,833.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 95,994 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,872,865.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Patrick P. Goris sold 577 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.83, for a total value of $101,453.91. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 8,326 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,463,960.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 34,547 shares of company stock worth $6,070,978. 1.65% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of equities analysts have commented on ROK shares. Citigroup set a $185.00 price objective on Rockwell Automation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their target price on Rockwell Automation from $210.00 to $205.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised Rockwell Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $183.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Cowen downgraded Rockwell Automation from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $175.00 to $150.00 in a report on Monday, October 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Rockwell Automation from $171.00 to $173.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $178.87.
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About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.
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