Woodward Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Woodward’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both the top and bottom line fronts. However, its fiscal year results failed to beat the consensus estimates. Segment-wise, the company posted a mixed performance. While the Aerospace division witnessed strong growth on the back of solid volume growth, performance in the industrial market remained weak. Persistent weakness in large capital projects was one of the major dampeners for the industrial segment. Also, Woodward's dependence on government defense budgets, stiff competition from a number of major players in the U.S. and abroad, persistent market weakness and sluggish growth in China are major concerns for the company. However, the company stands to benefit from increased global usage of natural gas as a source of electricity and transportation fuel, while strong backlog in the commercial aerospace space buoys optimism.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on WWD. Barrington Research assumed coverage on Woodward in a research report on Friday, September 16th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Jefferies Group set a $59.00 price objective on Woodward and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th.

Shares of Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) opened at 67.36 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $60.78 and its 200 day moving average is $59.13. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.67 and a beta of 1.08. Woodward has a 52-week low of $41.24 and a 52-week high of $68.44.

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 14th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.07. The firm earned $590.92 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $571.55 million. Woodward had a return on equity of 16.73% and a net margin of 8.93%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Woodward will post $3.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 28th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 14th will be given a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.65%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 9th. Woodward’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.44%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WWD. Cooke & Bieler LP increased its position in Woodward by 1.2% in the second quarter. Cooke & Bieler LP now owns 597,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,449,000 after buying an additional 7,160 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Woodward by 2.9% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 394,102 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,501,000 after buying an additional 11,282 shares in the last quarter. Geneva Advisors LLC increased its position in Woodward by 6.6% in the second quarter. Geneva Advisors LLC now owns 18,497 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,066,000 after buying an additional 1,144 shares in the last quarter. Anchor Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Woodward by 3,034.0% in the second quarter. Anchor Capital Advisors LLC now owns 464,401 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,768,000 after buying an additional 449,583 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Woodward by 16.6% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 43,939 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,286,000 after buying an additional 6,258 shares in the last quarter. 75.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Woodward

Woodward, Inc is a designer, manufacturer, and service provider of energy controls and optimization solutions. The Company has production and assembly facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia, and promotes its products and services through its worldwide locations. The Company’s is engaged in providing energy control and optimization solutions for the aerospace and energy markets.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:WWD

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