Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders acquired 6,139 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,644% compared to the average volume of 352 put options.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $189.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $190.00 price objective on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Illinois Tool Works from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $180.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $166.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $160.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Sunday, December 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Illinois Tool Works currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $166.31.

In other news, EVP Juan Valls sold 48,622 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.73, for a total value of $7,620,526.06. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 71,101 shares in the company, valued at $11,143,659.73. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 95,328 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,984,608.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ITW. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 2,939.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,752,155 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $537,498,000 after purchasing an additional 3,628,722 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 5.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,436,577 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,927,540,000 after purchasing an additional 1,118,381 shares during the period. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL grew its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 34,278.6% in the third quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL now owns 939,568 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $35,779,000 after purchasing an additional 936,835 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. grew its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 31,484.3% in the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 768,131 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $763,000 after purchasing an additional 765,699 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of Illinois Tool Works by 100.8% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,409,208 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $201,869,000 after purchasing an additional 707,287 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.70% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) opened at $170.52 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $58,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.15, a P/E/G ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a current ratio of 2.41, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. Illinois Tool Works has a 52-week low of $122.25 and a 52-week high of $171.52.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.20. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 16.12% and a return on equity of 47.21%. The business had revenue of $3.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.50 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th were given a $0.78 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.83%. Illinois Tool Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.85%.

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About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc is a manufacturer of industrial products and equipment. The Company operates through seven segments. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces test and measurement, and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions.

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