Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, January 11th. The firm presently has a $78.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 11.27% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “In a month, Applied Industrial's shares have outperformed the industry. In the quarters ahead, the company will gain from its healthy service-center distribution, upstream oil and gas and fluid power businesses. These along with benefits from acquired assets will drive revenues, while higher sales and greater cost and operational discipline will boost margins. In first-quarter fiscal 2018, the company's earnings of 86 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cents. Quarterly revenues outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.1%. The stellar performance was backed by robust demand, acquisition-related benefits and favorable foreign currency-translation impact.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on AIT. Wellington Shields upgraded Applied Industrial Technologies to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine cut Applied Industrial Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.00.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) traded down $4.10 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $70.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 347,760 shares, compared to its average volume of 294,857. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,869.66, a PE ratio of 19.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.96. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 1-year low of $54.00 and a 1-year high of $75.35. The company has a quick ratio of 1.90, a current ratio of 3.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $667.19 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $651.05 million. Applied Industrial Technologies had a return on equity of 16.53% and a net margin of 5.43%. sell-side analysts predict that Applied Industrial Technologies will post 3.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Green Edith Kelly sold 6,873 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.41, for a total value of $511,419.93. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 24,230 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,802,954.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Todd A. Barlett sold 3,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.00, for a total value of $285,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 90,155 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,761,625. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Applied Industrial Technologies by 175.2% during the fourth quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,285 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $292,000 after buying an additional 2,728 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc purchased a new stake in Applied Industrial Technologies during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $337,000. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 15.7% during the fourth quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 12,954 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $882,000 after purchasing an additional 1,761 shares during the period. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 43.5% during the fourth quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 5,771 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $393,000 after purchasing an additional 1,749 shares during the period. Finally, Algert Global LLC raised its position in Applied Industrial Technologies by 4.5% during the fourth quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 51,982 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,540,000 after purchasing an additional 2,238 shares during the period. 88.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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