Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday, July 31st.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, Illinois Tool Works' shares have outperformed the industry. In second-quarter 2017, the company's earnings of $1.66 per share surpassed its Zacks Consensus Estimates by 1.84%. Businesses in six of seven end-market segments were strong. For 2017, the company increased its earnings guidance to $6.32-$6.52 per share from the earlier projection of $6.20-$6.40. Organic revenue growth is expected to be 2-4% while total revenue is projected to be within $14.1-$14.2 billion, up from $13.9-$14.1 billion expected earlier. Enterprise initiatives are likely to contribute 100 basis points (bps) to operating margin growth. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

ITW has been the subject of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $141.00 price target on Illinois Tool Works and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded Illinois Tool Works from a sell rating to a buy rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $131.00 to $155.00 in a report on Thursday, June 1st. BidaskClub lowered Illinois Tool Works from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and issued a $160.00 target price (up from $140.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $155.00 target price (up from $145.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $152.67.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) opened at 140.73 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $143.83 and a 200 day moving average of $137.32. Illinois Tool Works has a 12-month low of $111.50 and a 12-month high of $150.29. The stock has a market cap of $48.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.77 and a beta of 1.11.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.66 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $3.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.61 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a return on equity of 46.57% and a net margin of 15.50%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.46 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Illinois Tool Works will post $6.46 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.78 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. This is a positive change from Illinois Tool Works’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $3.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.22%. Illinois Tool Works’s payout ratio is 42.07%.

In other news, CEO Ernest Scott Santi sold 101,297 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.03, for a total transaction of $13,982,024.91. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 191,142 shares in the company, valued at $26,383,330.26. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider John R. Hartnett sold 11,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.96, for a total value of $1,703,280.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 23,839 shares in the company, valued at $3,455,701.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 201,961 shares of company stock valued at $28,311,650. Corporate insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 1,661.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,318,196 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,559,083,000 after buying an additional 18,221,359 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 3.6% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,905,002 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,179,646,000 after buying an additional 308,538 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 1.5% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,554,364 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $603,315,000 after buying an additional 67,451 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 0.7% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,449,170 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $456,912,000 after buying an additional 23,205 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 7.1% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,084,804 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $408,069,000 after buying an additional 203,294 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.77% of the company’s stock.

About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc is a manufacturer of industrial products and equipment. The Company operates through seven segments. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces test and measurement, and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions.

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