Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Monday, October 16th.

According to Zacks, “Over the last six months, Applied Industrial's shares have underperformed the industry. We fear that lingering headwinds within the industry might hurt the company's near-term top- and bottom-line performances. Applied Industrial perceives that a stronger U.S. dollar might continue to hurt its overseas market revenues in the quarters ahead. Even so, other headwinds such as increasing industry rivalry or consolidation among consumers or suppliers might curtail near-term growth. Also, issues related to the supply of inputs from contract manufacturers might hurt the company's near-term sales. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has moved south for fiscal 2019.”

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on AIT. BidaskClub raised shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. ValuEngine raised shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Northcoast Research began coverage on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a market perform rating and set a $63.00 price objective (down previously from $67.00) on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $66.00.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) opened at 64.75 on Monday. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 12-month low of $48.30 and a 12-month high of $70.05. The company has a market cap of $2.53 billion, a PE ratio of 19.04 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a 50 day moving average of $62.95 and a 200-day moving average of $60.28.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $680.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $668.18 million. Applied Industrial Technologies had a net margin of 5.29% and a return on equity of 16.25%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.70 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Applied Industrial Technologies will post $3.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. Applied Industrial Technologies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.58%.

In related news, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 8,926 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.42, for a total value of $485,752.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 135,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,348,278.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 6,000 shares of Applied Industrial Technologies stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.11, for a total value of $336,660.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 153,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,586,457.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,571 shares of company stock valued at $4,070,841 in the last three months. 3.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AIT. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 2.4% in the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,741 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $170,000 after buying an additional 64 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Applied Industrial Technologies by 57.0% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,298 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $195,000 after buying an additional 1,198 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 7.2% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 3,363 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $199,000 after purchasing an additional 226 shares during the period. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC grew its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 59.1% during the 2nd quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC now owns 3,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $207,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the period. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies during the 2nd quarter worth about $211,000. Institutional investors own 87.03% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Industrial Technologies

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc is an industrial distributor in North America, Australia and New Zealand, serving maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and original equipment manufacturing customers in various industries. In addition, the Company provides engineering, design, and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, and fluid power shop services.

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