Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $209.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Rockwell Automation’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings declined year-over-year despite an increase in revenues. However, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both the metrics. The company expects fiscal 2020 earnings per share at $8.70-$9.10. The mid-point of the guidance indicates a year-over-year growth of 3%. The recent slowdown in U.S manufacturing activity, weakness in the automotive, semiconductor and chemical markets remain concerns. Nevertheless, Rockwell Automation's results will be aided by growth in Hybrid industries such as Life Sciences, Food & beverage, and Tire markets. The company is likely to witness above-market growth through a combination of share gains in core platforms, double-digit growth in Information Solutions and Connected Services, and acquisitions and inorganic investments.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on ROK. TheStreet cut Rockwell Automation from a b+ rating to a c+ rating in a report on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Co cut Rockwell Automation from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price target for the company from $185.00 to $165.00 in a report on Monday, September 30th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Rockwell Automation from $142.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Thursday. Bank of America lifted their price target on Rockwell Automation from $170.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Gordon Haskett cut Rockwell Automation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $182.20.

Shares of ROK traded up $1.52 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $200.27. 730,921 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,010,149. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $171.28 and its 200-day moving average price is $162.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.84, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a current ratio of 1.54. Rockwell Automation has a 12 month low of $141.46 and a 12 month high of $207.11.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 12th. The industrial products company reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.66 billion. Rockwell Automation had a return on equity of 99.27% and a net margin of 10.39%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.11 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Rockwell Automation will post 8.9 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 12th will be issued a dividend of $1.02 per share. This is a boost from Rockwell Automation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 8th. This represents a $4.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.04%. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is presently 47.06%.

In related news, CEO Blake D. Moret sold 7,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.67, for a total transaction of $1,311,591.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 46,995 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,443,591.65. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Blake D. Moret sold 1,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.07, for a total value of $304,419.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,395 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,412,602.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 29,648 shares of company stock worth $5,720,944. 1.43% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp increased its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 3.1% in the third quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 47,861 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $7,888,000 after buying an additional 1,430 shares in the last quarter. Trillium Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 1.3% in the third quarter. Trillium Asset Management LLC now owns 39,590 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $6,524,000 after buying an additional 494 shares in the last quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 1.3% in the third quarter. Tiedemann Advisors LLC now owns 6,578 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,084,000 after buying an additional 86 shares in the last quarter. Somerville Kurt F increased its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 2.5% in the third quarter. Somerville Kurt F now owns 65,797 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $10,845,000 after buying an additional 1,595 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Puzo Michael J increased its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation by 5.2% in the third quarter. Puzo Michael J now owns 24,158 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,981,000 after buying an additional 1,204 shares in the last quarter. 72.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation, Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.

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