Astec Industries (ASTE) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Despite a healthy backlog, Astec remains cautious for the fourth quarter due to product mix and contract to delivery dates and holiday schedules. Consequently, it expects fourth-quarter 2017 earnings per share to be sequentially lower. The company does not expect any revenues contribution from the Hazelhurst Georgia pellet plant in 2017. Moreover, Astec's performance will be hurt by low oil prices, volatile steel price prices, and economic and political environment in Brazil. The stock has also underperformed the industry in the past year. Despite the setback on the Georgia and Arkansas plants, the company remains confident on the outlook for pellet plants. Astec Industries remains committed to improve its part sales volume over the long term, along with competitive part sales and service sales. Acquisitions remain a key piece of Astec’s growth strategy, along with organic growth.”

ASTE has been the topic of a number of other reports. Robert W. Baird raised Astec Industries from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $56.00 to $65.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub lowered Astec Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday. Finally, TheStreet lowered Astec Industries from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.00.

Shares of Astec Industries (NASDAQ ASTE) traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $55.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 268,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 146,806. Astec Industries has a 12-month low of $45.70 and a 12-month high of $73.37. The firm has a market cap of $1,280.37, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.45 and a beta of 1.05.

Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported ($0.12) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.10) by ($0.02). Astec Industries had a return on equity of 5.89% and a net margin of 3.27%. The business had revenue of $252.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $261.06 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.30 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Astec Industries will post 1.61 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Texas Permanent School Fund raised its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 13,974 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $776,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 5,670 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $315,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,260 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $292,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 11.8% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 1,870 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 198 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Astec Industries by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,938 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 289 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 79.57% of the company’s stock.

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Astec Industries Company Profile

Astec Industries, Inc designs, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and components used primarily in road building and related construction activities. Its segments include Infrastructure Group, Aggregate and Mining Group and Energy Group. The Infrastructure Group segment is made up of five business units, including Astec, Inc, Roadtec, Inc, Carlson Paving Products, Inc, Astec Mobile Machinery GmbH and Astec Australia Pty Ltd.

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