Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Illinois Tool Works' shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from its solid product portfolio, strengthening foothold in various end markets and strategic initiatives to improve margins. From 2018 to 2022, the company expects organic revenue growth to be in the 3-5% range, operating margin to be in excess of 25% and earnings per share to grow 8-10% in each year. For 2018, the company anticipates GAAP earnings to be within $7.05-$7.25 per share, organic revenue growth to be 3-4% and operating margin to be 25-25.5%. The projections for 2017 have been reaffirmed, with earnings per share still anticipated to be $6.62-$6.72. However, the company is exposed to headwinds including unfavorable foreign currency movements, industry rivalry, volatilities in input price & supply and economic uncertainties.”

ITW has been the topic of several other research reports. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price objective (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $147.00 to $151.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Citigroup restated a “buy” rating and set a $171.00 price objective (up previously from $162.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, October 9th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $168.25.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) traded up $2.10 on Wednesday, reaching $172.42. 1,237,813 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 962,878. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.98 and a current ratio of 2.41. Illinois Tool Works has a 1 year low of $122.61 and a 1 year high of $172.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $58,351.46, a P/E ratio of 26.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 1.18.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping 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 firm had revenue of $3.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.50 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP Norman D. Jr. Finch purchased 4,986 shares of Illinois Tool Works stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was bought at an average price of $156.34 per share, for a total transaction of $779,511.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,371 shares in the company, valued at $683,362.14. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Steven L. Martindale sold 64,818 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.19, for a total transaction of $10,188,741.42. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 95,328 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,984,608.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 208,258 shares of company stock valued at $33,653,349. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ITW. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 2,939.8% during 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 buying an additional 3,628,722 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 5.8% during 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 buying an additional 1,118,381 shares during the period. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 34,278.6% during 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 buying an additional 936,835 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 31,484.3% during the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 768,131 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $763,000 after buying an additional 765,699 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in Illinois Tool Works by 100.8% during 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 buying an additional 707,287 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.73% of the company’s stock.

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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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