Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Fortive (NYSE:FTV) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fortive (NYSE:FTV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $75.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Fortive is benefiting from strength of the Fortive Business System. Additionally, strength across the portfolio, led by Fluke and Tektronix, is contributing well to top-line growth. Both Professional Instrumentation and Industrial Technologies segments are persistently performing well. This remains a positive. The company recently completed the acquisition of ServiceChannel and thereby strengthened the SaaS portfolio. It expects that the acquisition will generate higher profits in the current quarter. This remains another positive. Further, growing new customer logo wins and recurring bookings are tailwinds. Yet, uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic are concerns for the company. Further, increased spending remains a serious risk. It is to be noted that the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price target on Fortive from $78.00 to $74.00 and set a sector perform rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 30th. Wolfe Research upgraded Fortive from a peer perform rating to an outperform rating and increased their price target for the stock from $81.00 to $84.00 in a report on Monday, July 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Fortive from $81.00 to $78.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 30th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $79.36.

NYSE FTV opened at $73.26 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $26.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.49 and a beta of 1.15. Fortive has a twelve month low of $60.82 and a twelve month high of $82.12. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $73.23 and a 200 day simple moving average of $71.72. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16.

Fortive (NYSE:FTV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The technology company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.05. Fortive had a return on equity of 12.15% and a net margin of 29.84%. The business had revenue of $1.32 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.28 billion. Research analysts expect that Fortive will post 2.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 24th. Investors of record on Friday, September 10th were given a $0.07 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 9th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.38%. Fortive’s payout ratio is 13.40%.

In related news, SVP Peter C. Underwood sold 3,522 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.27, for a total value of $261,578.94. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 42,889 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,185,366.03. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 4.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of FTV. Sowell Financial Services LLC increased its stake in Fortive by 418.3% in the 1st quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 425 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $31,000 after buying an additional 343 shares during the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. increased its stake in Fortive by 44.2% in the 1st quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 532 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 163 shares during the last quarter. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in Fortive in the 1st quarter valued at about $42,000. CX Institutional increased its stake in Fortive by 29.8% in the 2nd quarter. CX Institutional now owns 750 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $52,000 after buying an additional 172 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dark Forest Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Fortive in the 2nd quarter valued at about $60,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.37% of the company’s stock.

About Fortive

Fortive Corp. engages in the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of professional and engineered products, software, and services for a variety of end markets. It operates through the following segments: Intelligent Operating Solutions, Precision Technologies, and Advanced Healthcare Solutions.

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