Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE:ROK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $184.00 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Rockwell Automation projects fiscal 2017 sales growth in the range of 4.5–7.5% and expects adjusted EPS in the range of $6.45–$6.75 per share. It remains optimistic about improvement in macro environment. Compared with earnings per share of $5.93 in fiscal 2016, the mid-point of the range depicts a year-over-year climb of 11%. Rockwell Automation will benefit from the consistent growth in the consumer and transportation verticals. It also expects heavy industries to grow in 2017 despite the prevailing softness in oil and gas and mining. Further, increased investment, acquisitions, product launches and share repurchases will support growth. Further, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Rockwell Automation's shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized sub-industry year-to-date.”

A number of other brokerages have also commented on ROK. Credit Suisse Group reissued a hold rating and set a $145.00 price target on shares of Rockwell Automation in a research note on Thursday, March 30th. BidaskClub lowered Rockwell Automation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Cowen and Company upped their price objective on Rockwell Automation from $125.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Rockwell Automation from $153.00 to $167.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Barclays PLC set a $176.00 price objective on Rockwell Automation and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Rockwell Automation presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $152.33.

Shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) opened at 164.90 on Tuesday. Rockwell Automation has a one year low of $111.52 and a one year high of $167.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.59 and a beta of 1.17. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $163.36 and its 200 day moving average is $156.26.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The industrial products company reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.64 by $0.12. Rockwell Automation had a return on equity of 40.71% and a net margin of 13.04%. The firm had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.55 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Rockwell Automation will post $6.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 14th will be given a $0.76 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $3.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.84%. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is 49.03%.

In related news, Director Keith D. Nosbusch sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.00, for a total value of $1,570,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 411,286 shares in the company, valued at approximately $64,571,902. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Keith D. Nosbusch sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.50, for a total value of $3,150,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 411,286 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $64,777,545. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 124,757 shares of company stock valued at $20,015,634 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.65% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its position in Rockwell Automation by 34.7% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 8,162 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,322,000 after buying an additional 2,102 shares during the last quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC raised its position in Rockwell Automation by 1.1% in the second quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 23,876 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,867,000 after buying an additional 260 shares during the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in Rockwell Automation by 1.4% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 185,534 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $30,049,000 after buying an additional 2,581 shares during the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Rockwell Automation by 15.9% in the second quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,315 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,833,000 after buying an additional 1,550 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL raised its position in Rockwell Automation by 5.7% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 5,414 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $877,000 after buying an additional 293 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.24% of the company’s stock.

Rockwell Automation Company Profile

Rockwell Automation, Inc (Rockwell Automation) is a provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions for manufacturers. The Company operates through two segments: Architecture & Software and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment contains various hardware, software and communication components of the Company’s integrated control and information architecture capable of controlling the customer’s industrial processes and connecting with their manufacturing enterprise.

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