Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Methode Electronics (NYSE:MEI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Methode Electronics, Inc. is a global manufacturer of electronic components and subsystems. Methode designs, manufactures and markets devices employing electrical, electronic, wireless, sensing and optical technologies. Methode’s components are found in the primary end-markets of the automotive, appliance, communications, aerospace, rail and other transportation industries, and the consumer and industrial equipment markets. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. B. Riley reissued a buy rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of Methode Electronics in a research note on Friday, December 7th. Craig Hallum set a $25.00 target price on Methode Electronics and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised Methode Electronics from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 5th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised Methode Electronics from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $36.50.

Shares of NYSE MEI opened at $26.09 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $964.97 million, a P/E ratio of 8.70 and a beta of 1.40. Methode Electronics has a 52 week low of $20.99 and a 52 week high of $45.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 2.56 and a quick ratio of 1.94.

Methode Electronics (NYSE:MEI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The electronics maker reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $264.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $269.57 million. Methode Electronics had a return on equity of 19.33% and a net margin of 5.27%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 14.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.64 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Methode Electronics will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 11th were given a $0.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 10th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.69%. Methode Electronics’s dividend payout ratio is 14.67%.

In other Methode Electronics news, VP Ronald L.G. Tsoumas acquired 5,735 shares of Methode Electronics stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 28th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $24.98 per share, with a total value of $143,260.30. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Donald W. Duda acquired 70,848 shares of Methode Electronics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 11th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $23.79 per share, with a total value of $1,685,473.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 699,034 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,630,018.86. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought 90,518 shares of company stock valued at $2,153,707 over the last three months. 3.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Interstate Bank raised its stake in Methode Electronics by 13.4% during the fourth quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 4,311 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 510 shares in the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new position in Methode Electronics during the third quarter worth $242,000. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new position in Methode Electronics during the third quarter worth $263,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new position in Methode Electronics during the third quarter worth $322,000. Finally, Unison Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Methode Electronics during the fourth quarter worth $241,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.54% of the company’s stock.

About Methode Electronics

Methode Electronics, Inc designs, manufactures, and markets component and subsystem devices worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Automotive, Interface, Power Products, and Other. The Automotive segment offers electronic and electro-mechanical devices, and related products to automobile original equipment manufacturers directly or through their tiered suppliers.

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