Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Applied Industrial expects that sturdier segmental performance and acquisition benefits will continue to drive its revenue growth trajectory. Also, profitability in the upcoming quarters is expected to rally on the back of the company’s stronger revenues, the FCX Performance buyout benefits, lower tax rates and greater operational efficacy. Furthermore, Applied Industrial remains on track to augment its shareholders' remuneration over time. However, over the past three months, the stock has underperformed the industry. Rising cost of sales, primarily on account of material price inflation, remains a major cause of concern for Applied Industrial. Also, consolidation of suppliers and customers might adversely impact business going forward.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price target on Applied Industrial Technologies from $80.00 to $75.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 1st. KeyCorp upgraded Applied Industrial Technologies from a sector weight rating to an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Applied Industrial Technologies from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $71.50.

NYSE:AIT opened at $61.00 on Tuesday. Applied Industrial Technologies has a fifty-two week low of $50.56 and a fifty-two week high of $82.35. The firm has a market cap of $2.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.44, a P/E/G ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 1.67 and a current ratio of 2.76.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The industrial products company reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.12. Applied Industrial Technologies had a return on equity of 19.66% and a net margin of 4.82%. The company had revenue of $864.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $874.74 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. Applied Industrial Technologies’s quarterly revenue was up 27.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Applied Industrial Technologies will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

In other Applied Industrial Technologies news, Director Green Edith Kelly sold 7,090 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.51, for a total value of $464,465.90. Following the sale, the director now owns 19,240 shares in the company, valued at $1,260,412.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AIT. FMR LLC increased its stake in Applied Industrial Technologies by 50.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 909,261 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $63,784,000 after purchasing an additional 302,972 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Applied Industrial Technologies by 11.4% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,363,587 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $184,950,000 after purchasing an additional 241,427 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Applied Industrial Technologies by 26.4% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 868,319 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $67,946,000 after purchasing an additional 181,231 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Applied Industrial Technologies by 1.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,095,423 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $476,966,000 after purchasing an additional 100,031 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Applied Industrial Technologies in the second quarter worth $6,690,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.95% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Industrial Technologies

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc distributes industrial products in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. The company offers its products for maintenance, repair, and operational, as well as original equipment manufacturing customers. It operates in two segments, Service Center Based Distribution, and Fluid Power and Flow Control.

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