Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) to “Buy”

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, January 23rd. The firm currently has a $79.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.82% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the last month, Applied Industrial's shares have outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Quarterly earnings of 86 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cents. The stellar performance was backed by robust demand, acquisition-related benefits and favorable foreign currency-translation impact. The company believes these positives will continue to drive its near-term top- and bottom-line performance. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has moved north for fiscal 2018.”

AIT has been the subject of a number of other reports. Wellington Shields raised Applied Industrial Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “gradually accumulate” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. ValuEngine downgraded Applied Industrial Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.00.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE AIT) traded up $0.90 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $70.65. The stock had a trading volume of 335,019 shares, compared to its average volume of 317,114. The company has a quick ratio of 1.90, a current ratio of 3.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. The stock has a market cap of $2,720.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.73, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.96. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 52-week low of $54.00 and a 52-week high of $75.35.

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 for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.06. Applied Industrial Technologies had a return on equity of 16.53% and a net margin of 5.43%. The company had revenue of $667.19 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $651.05 million. analysts forecast that Applied Industrial Technologies will post 3.46 earnings per share for the current year.

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

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AIT. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,058,895 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $412,609,000 after purchasing an additional 159,368 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 4.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,662,402 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $216,264,000 after purchasing an additional 166,858 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,178,032 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $77,513,000 after purchasing an additional 68,270 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 11.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,003,427 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $59,253,000 after purchasing an additional 101,228 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 984,997 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $64,813,000 after purchasing an additional 57,789 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.21% of the company’s stock.

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Applied Industrial Technologies Company Profile

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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