Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday, January 4th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $186.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

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. In addition, it initiated its financial guidance for 2018, anticipating GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share. Organic revenue growth is predicted to be within 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. Earnings estimates on the stock improved for both 2017 (results not yet released) and 2018 in the last 60 days.”

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Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Argus restated a buy rating and issued a $180.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Citigroup reiterated a buy rating and set a $162.00 target price on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $170.00 target price on Illinois Tool Works and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $190.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $177.18.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) traded down $1.74 on Thursday, reaching $175.16. 214,709 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,319,929. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.38. Illinois Tool Works has a twelve month low of $125.96 and a twelve month high of $179.07. The stock has a market cap of $59,880.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.08, a P/E/G ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 1.18.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.62 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $3.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.54 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 11.79% and a return on equity of 48.42%. Illinois Tool Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.39 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Illinois Tool Works will post 7.71 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Harold B. Smith sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.43, for a total value of $4,992,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Roland M. Martel sold 64,818 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.41, for a total value of $10,851,181.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 26,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,389,825.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ITW. Eqis Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 1.8% in the second quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $358,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 6,767 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $970,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Legacy Private Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 5.0% during the 2nd quarter. Legacy Private Trust Co. now owns 5,040 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $722,000 after buying an additional 240 shares during the period. Cardinal Capital Management raised its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 43,904 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $6,289,000 after buying an additional 780 shares during the period. Finally, CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 30,362 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,349,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. 74.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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