Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. They currently have $62.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the last year, Applied Industrial’s shares outperformed the sector. The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Quarterly adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. In addition, net sales in the reported quarter handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. The company believes that robust upstream business, sturdy performance of the U.S. fluid power business, and superior customer servicing skills will likely bolster its top-line performance in the quarters ahead. Moreover, sound restructuring moves, greater productivity and increased cost discipline are projected to strengthen the company’s near-term bottom-line performances. Notably, the company remains committed towards its shareholders.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Northcoast Research assumed coverage on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a market perform rating and set a $63.00 price objective (down previously from $67.00) on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Applied Industrial Technologies currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $62.50.

Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) opened at 56.00 on Thursday. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 52-week low of $43.50 and a 52-week high of $69.00. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $56.65 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.21. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.47 and a beta of 0.95.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 11th. The industrial products company reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by $0.56. Applied Industrial Technologies had a net margin of 5.16% and a return on equity of 15.89%. The business had revenue of $681.47 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $680.20 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Applied Industrial Technologies will post $3.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. Applied Industrial Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.12%.

In other Applied Industrial Technologies news, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 8,926 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.55, for a total value of $486,913.30. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 141,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,693,131.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.11, for a total transaction of $336,660.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 153,029 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,586,457.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 62,632 shares of company stock worth $3,459,362 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 4.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Neuburgh Advisers LLC increased its stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the first quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 1,892 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the period. Tyers Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 2,408 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 140 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 2.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,741 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $170,000 after buying an additional 64 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the first quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,924 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $181,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies during the first quarter valued at about $194,000. 87.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Applied Industrial Technologies Company Profile

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc is an industrial distributor in North America, Australia and New Zealand, serving maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and original equipment manufacturing customers in various industries. In addition, the Company provides engineering, design, and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, and fluid power shop services.

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