Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, October 30th.

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. In third-quarter 2017, earnings of $1.71 per share surpassed its Zacks Consensus Estimates by 3.64%. Businesses in six of seven segments were strong. For 2017, the company anticipates earnings to be within $6.62-$6.72 per share, reflecting 25 cents growth at mid-point. Organic revenue growth is expected to be 2-3% while total revenues are projected to be roughly $14.3 billion. Enterprise initiatives are likely to contribute 100 basis points (bps) to operating margin growth. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $155.00 target price (up from $143.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Friday, October 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $140.00 price objective (up from $136.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Monday, July 10th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 target price on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price objective (up from $160.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Illinois Tool Works from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $132.00 to $140.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Illinois Tool Works presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $157.27.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) opened at $157.14 on Monday. Illinois Tool Works has a 12-month low of $120.06 and a 12-month high of $159.36. The firm has a market capitalization of $54,230.00, a P/E ratio of 25.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 1.16. 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 (NYSE:ITW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.65 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $3.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a return on equity of 47.21% and a net margin of 16.12%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.50 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, EVP Juan Valls sold 48,622 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.73, for a total value of $7,620,526.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 71,101 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,143,659.73. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total value of $979,950.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 126,506 shares of company stock valued at $19,801,832 over the last 90 days. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,627,699 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,241,417,000 after purchasing an additional 500,583 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 5.8% in the 2nd 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 boosted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 5.7% in the 3rd 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 boosted its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 13.7% in the 2nd 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, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Illinois Tool Works by 7.1% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,084,804 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $408,069,000 after purchasing an additional 203,294 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.03% of the company’s stock.

About Illinois Tool Works

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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