Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the last month, Applied Industrial's shares outperformed the industry. 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. However, the company perceives that a stronger U.S. dollar might continue to hurt its overseas market revenues in the quarters ahead. Even so, other headwinds such as increasing industry rivalry or consolidation among consumers or suppliers, might curtail near-term growth. Over the last 30 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained unchanged for both fiscal 2018 and 2019.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on AIT. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Northcoast Research began coverage on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a market perform rating and set a $63.00 price objective (down previously from $67.00) on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Applied Industrial Technologies currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $64.50.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) opened at 60.85 on Tuesday. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 12 month low of $43.50 and a 12 month high of $69.00. The stock has a market cap of $2.38 billion, a PE ratio of 17.90 and a beta of 0.92. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.83 and its 200 day moving average is $59.68.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 11th. The industrial products company reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 analysts’ expectations of $680.20 million. During the same quarter 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 analysts predict that Applied Industrial Technologies will post $3.10 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th were issued a $0.29 dividend. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.91%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 11th. Applied Industrial Technologies’s payout ratio is presently 34.12%.

In other news, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 4,939 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.91, for a total value of $276,139.49. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 106,090 shares in the company, valued at $5,931,491.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.89, for a total transaction of $335,340.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 111,029 shares in the company, valued at $6,205,410.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 73,571 shares of company stock worth $4,070,841. Company insiders own 3.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AIT. Neuburgh Advisers LLC grew its holdings 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 worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings 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 worth $170,000 after purchasing an additional 64 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in the first quarter worth about $194,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 57.0% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,298 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $195,000 after purchasing an additional 1,198 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC grew its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 59.1% in the second quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC now owns 3,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $207,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.53% of the company’s stock.

About Applied Industrial Technologies

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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