Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. cut its position in shares of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE) by 1.2% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 206,686 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after selling 2,490 shares during the period. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in ESCO Technologies were worth $14,065,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Aperio Group LLC grew its stake in shares of ESCO Technologies by 50.1% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 18,364 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $1,060,000 after buying an additional 6,126 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of ESCO Technologies by 43.9% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 33,237 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $1,918,000 after buying an additional 10,140 shares during the period. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of ESCO Technologies by 43.9% in the 2nd quarter. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC now owns 36,431 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $2,102,000 after buying an additional 11,119 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS acquired a new stake in shares of ESCO Technologies in the 2nd quarter valued at about $316,000. Finally, Sei Investments Co. grew its stake in shares of ESCO Technologies by 75.6% in the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,453 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 1,056 shares during the period. 94.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several analysts have recently commented on ESE shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded ESCO Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine upgraded ESCO Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. B. Riley set a $80.00 target price on ESCO Technologies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. Stephens set a $67.00 target price on ESCO Technologies and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, August 19th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC restated a “positive” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of ESCO Technologies in a research note on Friday, November 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.75.
ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 15th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $231.09 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $228.93 million. ESCO Technologies had a return on equity of 10.06% and a net margin of 11.94%. On average, analysts forecast that ESCO Technologies Inc. will post 2.97 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 18th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 2nd. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.47%. ESCO Technologies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.55%.
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ESCO Technologies Profile
ESCO Technologies Inc, through its subsidiaries, produces and supplies engineered products and systems for utility, industrial, aerospace, and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Filtration segment supplies filtration and fluid control products, including filter elements, manifolds, assemblies, modules, indicators, custom and standard valves, filters, regulators, actuators, and other related components; and elastomeric-based signature reduction solutions.
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