Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Knowles (NYSE:KN) from a sell rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $19.00 price target on the communications equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Knowles Corporation operates as a supplier of advanced micro-acoustic, specialty components, and human interface solutions. The Company designs and manufactures acoustic products, including microphones, speakers, and receivers for the handset, tablet, and other consumer electronic markets. It also designs and manufactures electronic components used in medical and life science applications and solutions and components used in communications infrastructure and various other markets. Knowles Corporation is headquartered in Itasca, Illinois. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on KN. TheStreet raised shares of Knowles from a c rating to a b rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Lake Street Capital cut shares of Knowles from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $17.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Knowles in a research note on Friday, January 11th. Craig Hallum reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $18.00 price objective (down previously from $19.00) on shares of Knowles in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $13.00 price objective on shares of Knowles and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $16.93.

Shares of Knowles stock opened at $17.40 on Thursday. Knowles has a 52-week low of $10.94 and a 52-week high of $18.32. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a PE ratio of 21.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 2.57 and a quick ratio of 1.59.

Knowles (NYSE:KN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 7th. The communications equipment provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.08. Knowles had a net margin of 8.19% and a return on equity of 6.08%. The company had revenue of $223.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $224.42 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.40 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Knowles will post 0.84 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO Jeffrey Niew sold 11,629 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.01, for a total transaction of $186,180.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders have purchased a total of 3,099 shares of company stock valued at $45,129 over the last quarter. 3.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Knowles by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,831,784 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $170,793,000 after buying an additional 164,736 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Knowles by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,186,408 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $152,678,000 after buying an additional 164,175 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Knowles by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 9,186,408 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $152,678,000 after buying an additional 164,175 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Knowles by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 7,585,417 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $126,068,000 after buying an additional 725,618 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Knowles by 1.1% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,005,519 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $26,694,000 after buying an additional 21,016 shares during the last quarter.

Knowles Company Profile

Knowles Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device solutions for the mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, defense, aerospace, and industrial markets worldwide. It operates in two segments, Audio and Precision Devices (PD). The Audio segment designs and manufactures audio products, including microphones and balanced armature speakers, audio processors, and software and algorithms used in applications that serve the mobile, ear, and Internet of Things markets.

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