BlackRock Inc. Increases Stake in ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE)

BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE) by 1.0% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 3,799,196 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after acquiring an additional 37,170 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned 14.66% of ESCO Technologies worth $250,556,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ESE. Advisors Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in ESCO Technologies during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $40,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in ESCO Technologies by 112.1% during the 4th quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,661 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 878 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in ESCO Technologies by 9.8% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,048 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $202,000 after buying an additional 272 shares in the last quarter. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC bought a new position in ESCO Technologies during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $261,000. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in ESCO Technologies during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $274,000. 94.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised ESCO Technologies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 30th. ValuEngine raised ESCO Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, December 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. ESCO Technologies presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.75.

In other ESCO Technologies news, Director Larry W. Solley sold 4,177 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.36, for a total transaction of $289,716.72. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 23,350 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,619,556. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ESE opened at $69.39 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 1.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25. ESCO Technologies Inc. has a 12 month low of $54.35 and a 12 month high of $71.47. The firm has a market cap of $1.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.05 and a beta of 0.96.

ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.04. ESCO Technologies had a return on equity of 10.18% and a net margin of 9.58%. The business had revenue of $183.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $173.76 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.33 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that ESCO Technologies Inc. will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 18th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 2nd. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.46%. ESCO Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is 11.55%.

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About ESCO Technologies

ESCO Technologies Inc produces and supplies engineered products and systems for utility, industrial, aerospace, and commercial users worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Filtration/Fluid Flow (Filtration), RF Shielding and Test (Test), Utility Solutions Group (USG), and Technical Packaging.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE)

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