Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. The firm currently has $97.00 price target on the communications equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Motorola Solutions have outperformed its industry on a year-to-date basis. The company has an impressive track record with respect to earnings having surpassed estimates in each of the preceding four quarters. We expect the company to deliver impressive bottom-line performances in the coming quarters as well, driven by its strong product portfolio. In keeping with its growth-by-acquisition strategy, the company recently completed the acquisition of Kodiak Networks. The buyout has strengthened its software product portfolio. However, though positive on Motorola's growth by acquisition strategy, we note that costs associated with the mergers are limiting bottom-line growth. Moreover, currency related headwinds might hurt the stock going forward. The company's high debt levels also remain a concern.”

Several other research firms have also commented on MSI. Credit Suisse Group set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Motorola Solutions and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Motorola Solutions from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on shares of Motorola Solutions from $73.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $105.00 price objective (up from $100.00) on shares of Motorola Solutions in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $83.00 price objective (up from $75.00) on shares of Motorola Solutions in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $94.17.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) traded down 1.42% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $85.12. 1,583,400 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.85 billion, a PE ratio of 22.45 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a 50-day moving average of $88.47 and a 200 day moving average of $85.49. Motorola Solutions has a 52 week low of $71.24 and a 52 week high of $93.75.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The communications equipment provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $1.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. Motorola Solutions had a net margin of 10.38% and a negative return on equity of 93.44%. Motorola Solutions’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.03 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Motorola Solutions will post $5.29 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.21%. Motorola Solutions’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 49.60%.

In related news, EVP Eduardo F. Conrado sold 6,998 shares of Motorola Solutions stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.13, for a total value of $623,731.74. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,858 shares in the company, valued at $2,037,333.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Bruce W. Brda sold 25,299 shares of Motorola Solutions stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.11, for a total value of $2,254,393.89. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 23,829 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,123,402.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Sun Life Financial INC raised its holdings in shares of Motorola Solutions by 14,800.0% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,192 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after acquiring an additional 1,184 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Motorola Solutions by 33.3% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,200 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Iat Reinsurance Co. LTD. bought a new stake in shares of Motorola Solutions in the first quarter valued at about $123,000. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware bought a new stake in shares of Motorola Solutions in the first quarter valued at about $135,000. Finally, Exane Derivatives raised its holdings in shares of Motorola Solutions by 163.6% in the second quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 1,613 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $140,000 after acquiring an additional 1,001 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.70% of the company’s stock.

About Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions, Inc is a provider of communication infrastructure, devices, accessories, software and services. The Company operates through two segments: Products and Services. The Company’s Products segment offers a portfolio of infrastructure, devices, accessories and software. The Products segment has two product lines: Devices and Systems.

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