Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $38.00 target price on the conglomerate’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.93% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Raven outperformed the industry year to date. The company remains buoyant with solid market potential for its core technology. New product introductions continue to gain traction, particularly through OEM channel. Raven expects to surpass prior-year sales and adjusted operating income in fiscal 2018. The company is poised to benefit from focus on technological advancements and share repurchases. Further, strong pipeline in the Aerostar segment bodes well for the company. Through sustained funding of key R&D projects over the last few years, it introduced two significant new products, Hawkeye nozzle control system and next-generation rate control system. These products are getting favorable customer feedback and generating strong demand. This is expected to continue into fiscal 2018. However, weak U.S. agricultural market is likely to affect its revenues. Higher operating expenses strain margins and remain a concern for the company.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on RAVN. Dougherty & Co lowered Raven Industries from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub lowered Raven Industries from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks assumed coverage on Raven Industries in a report on Friday, August 18th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $36.00 target price for the company. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $31.00 price target on shares of Raven Industries in a research note on Sunday, October 1st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Raven Industries has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $35.00.

Raven Industries (RAVN) traded up $0.25 during trading on Friday, hitting $33.95. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 118,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 157,453. The company has a market cap of $1,204.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 1.48. Raven Industries has a twelve month low of $23.65 and a twelve month high of $38.35.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 20th. The conglomerate reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $101.35 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $84.54 million. Raven Industries had a return on equity of 13.88% and a net margin of 10.56%. research analysts predict that Raven Industries will post 0.95 earnings per share for the current year.

Raven Industries declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, December 4th that permits the company to repurchase $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the conglomerate to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of Raven Industries by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 29,837 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $993,000 after buying an additional 103 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its stake in shares of Raven Industries by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 26,350 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $877,000 after buying an additional 231 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Raven Industries by 8.8% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 3,174 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 257 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in shares of Raven Industries by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 8,520 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $284,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Connors Investor Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Raven Industries by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Connors Investor Services Inc. now owns 75,141 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $2,502,000 after buying an additional 576 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.10% of the company’s stock.

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Raven Industries Company Profile

Raven Industries, Inc is a diversified technology company providing a range of products to customers within the industrial, agricultural, energy, construction and defense markets. The Company operates through three segments: Applied Technology Division (Applied Technology), Engineered Films Division (Engineered Films) and Aerostar Division (Aerostar).

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