Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Saturday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $90.00 price objective on the technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Woodward stands to benefit from increased global usage of natural gas as a source of electricity and transportation fuel. Solid order backlogs for the new aircraft models have been boosting Woodward’s production level.  The company's strong balance sheet and a steady cash flow position offers substantial financial flexibility as well as a cushion for an incremental dividend and ongoing share repurchases. It has also been investing in new manufacturing units and automation equipment to perk up efficiency. However, persistent weakness in large capital projects remains one of the major dampeners for Woodward's industrial segment. “

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Wood & Company lowered shares of Woodward from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Woodward from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. ValuEngine lowered shares of Woodward from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Cowen reiterated a hold rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Woodward in a research report on Sunday, December 10th. Finally, SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of Woodward to $77.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $79.25.

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) traded up $0.76 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $83.41. 367,497 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 299,737. Woodward has a fifty-two week low of $65.22 and a fifty-two week high of $84.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.28, a current ratio of 2.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The company has a market capitalization of $5,108.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.40, a P/E/G ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 1.24.

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.05. Woodward had a net margin of 9.55% and a return on equity of 15.55%. The business had revenue of $606.79 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $596.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.99 earnings per share. Woodward’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Woodward will post 3.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Mary L. Petrovich sold 5,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.69, for a total value of $454,233.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 27,904 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,223,669.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 6.17% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WWD. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Woodward by 9.8% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,654 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Woodward by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,190 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Wesbanco Bank Inc. purchased a new position in Woodward in the 3rd quarter worth about $203,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in Woodward by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,115 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 171 shares during the period. Finally, CAPROCK Group Inc. purchased a new position in Woodward in the 3rd quarter worth about $222,000. 72.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Woodward

Woodward, Inc is an independent designer, manufacturer and service provider of energy control and optimization solutions. The Company designs, produces and services energy control products for various applications. The Company’s segments include Aerospace and Industrial. The Company’s Aerospace segment designs, manufactures and services systems and products for the management of fuel, air, combustion and motion control.

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