Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its position in Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI) by 14.5% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 156,331 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after purchasing an additional 19,795 shares during the quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC’s holdings in Badger Meter were worth $7,693,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in Badger Meter by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,026 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $149,000 after acquiring an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in Badger Meter by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 21,477 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $1,057,000 after acquiring an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Badger Meter by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 6,918 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $340,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. lifted its stake in Badger Meter by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. now owns 31,659 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $1,558,000 after acquiring an additional 237 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cardinal Capital Management lifted its stake in Badger Meter by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 21,188 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $1,042,000 after acquiring an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.09% of the company’s stock.

NYSE BMI opened at $57.32 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $1.66 billion, a PE ratio of 37.12, a P/E/G ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.80. Badger Meter, Inc. has a 52-week low of $41.00 and a 52-week high of $61.57.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $104.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $103.54 million. Badger Meter had a net margin of 6.41% and a return on equity of 15.39%. Badger Meter’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.25 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Badger Meter, Inc. will post 1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 28th were paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 27th. Badger Meter’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.96%.

A number of brokerages have commented on BMI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Badger Meter from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Badger Meter in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Maxim Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Badger Meter in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Badger Meter from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Badger Meter has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $50.33.

In other news, VP Kimberly K. Stoll sold 3,647 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.62, for a total transaction of $206,493.14. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 9,889 shares in the company, valued at approximately $559,915.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Richard E. Johnson sold 5,854 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total transaction of $346,264.10. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,957,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 38,705 shares of company stock valued at $2,271,763. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Badger Meter

Badger Meter, Inc provides flow measurement, control, and communication solutions worldwide. It offers mechanical and electronic water meters, and related technologies and services to municipal water utilities; and meters and valves to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including water, air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases, as well as for use in water/wastewater, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, test and measurement, automotive aftermarket, and the concrete construction process industries.

Further Reading: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE)

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI)

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