Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Snap-On Inc. (NYSE:SNA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Snap-On has registered an excellent earnings surprise history over the trailing four quarters, beating estimates all through. Over the past few quarters, the company’s solid organic top-line growth and lower operating and corporate expenses have been driving earnings growth. We believe that Snap-On’s robust “Value Creation Processes” are likely to accelerate its growth momentum. Solid prospects across business segments, diversified portfolio and impressive traction of the newly launched products, continue to add to its strength. However, on the flip side, weakness in certain geographic segments continues to pose a threat to the company’s financials. Also, volatile oil markets, along with weak military sales volumes, will likely hinder the company’s growth. This apart, factors like stiff competition, volatility in price of raw materials and high currency fluctuation add to the company’s woes.”

Shares of Snap-On (NYSE:SNA) opened at 168.55 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.81 and a beta of 1.08. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $156.03 and its 200 day moving average is $156.06. Snap-On has a 1-year low of $133.09 and a 1-year high of $174.52.

Snap-On (NYSE:SNA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $2.22 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.15 by $0.07. Snap-On had a net margin of 15.67% and a return on equity of 20.73%. The company earned $834.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $709.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.98 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Snap-On will post $9.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 18th will be given a $0.71 dividend. This represents a $2.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.68%. This is a positive change from Snap-On’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 16th. Snap-On’s dividend payout ratio is 31.70%.

In other news, VP Jeanne M. Moreno sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.30, for a total value of $80,150.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 7,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,126,428.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Thomas J. Ward sold 42,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.60, for a total transaction of $6,367,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. ETRADE Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Snap-On during the third quarter worth about $481,000. Edmond DE Rothschild Monaco bought a new stake in Snap-On during the third quarter worth about $1,110,000. Whalerock Point Partners LLC bought a new stake in Snap-On during the third quarter worth about $539,000. Brinker Capital Inc. raised its stake in Snap-On by 15.9% in the third quarter. Brinker Capital Inc. now owns 1,488 shares of the company’s stock worth $226,000 after buying an additional 204 shares during the period. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Snap-On during the third quarter worth about $4,619,000. 87.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Snap-On Company Profile

Snap-On Incorporated is a manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users. The Company’s segments include Commercial & Industrial Group, the Snap-on Tools Group, the Repair Systems & Information Group and Financial Services. Its Commercial & Industrial Group segment consists of business operations serving a range of industrial and commercial customers across the world.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SNA

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