Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released 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.”

ITW has been the subject of several other research reports. Argus reissued a buy rating and issued a $180.00 price objective (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works to $180.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $142.00 to $140.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a sector perform rating and issued a $155.00 price objective (up previously from $143.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Friday, October 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Citigroup reissued a buy rating and issued a $162.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $166.31.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded up $1.52 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $170.52. 953,180 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,310,000. The company has a market cap of $58,420.00, a P/E ratio of 26.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.41. Illinois Tool Works has a fifty-two week low of $120.06 and a fifty-two week high of $171.52.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $3.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 16.12% and a return on equity of 47.21%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.50 EPS. equities analysts predict that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th were paid a dividend of $0.78 per share. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. Illinois Tool Works’s payout ratio is currently 47.85%.

In related news, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of Illinois Tool Works stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total transaction of $1,012,615.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 18,622 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,886,410. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Harold B. Smith sold 30,000 shares of Illinois Tool Works stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.43, for a total transaction of $4,992,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 214,791 shares of company stock valued at $34,665,964 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 2.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,627,699 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,241,417,000 after buying an additional 500,583 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 5.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,436,577 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,927,540,000 after buying an additional 1,118,381 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 5.7% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,964,715 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $586,616,000 after buying an additional 212,560 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 13.7% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,920,539 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $561,618,000 after buying an additional 471,369 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 0.7% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,884,317 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $269,929,000 after buying an additional 12,913 shares during the last quarter. 74.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Illinois Tool Works Company Profile

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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