Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have $66.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the last year, Applied Industrial’s shares outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Quarterly adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The company believes that robust upstream business, sturdy performance of the U.S. fluid power business, and superior customer servicing skills will likely bolster its top-line performance in the quarters ahead. Moreover, sound restructuring moves, greater productivity and increased cost discipline are projected to strengthen the company’s near-term bottom-line performances. Notably, the company remains committed towards its shareholders. Over the last 60 days Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock moved north for both fiscal 2018 and 2019.”

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on AIT. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $63.00 price target (down previously from $67.00) on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. BidaskClub cut shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Northcoast Research initiated coverage on shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. They issued a neutral rating for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Applied Industrial Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Applied Industrial Technologies presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $64.50.

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) opened at 60.25 on Thursday. Applied Industrial Technologies has a 52 week low of $43.50 and a 52 week high of $69.00. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.58 and its 200-day moving average is $59.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.72 and a beta of 0.92.

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) last announced its earnings results on Friday, August 11th. The industrial products company reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.56. The company had revenue of $681.47 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $680.20 million. Applied Industrial Technologies had a net margin of 5.16% and a return on equity of 15.89%. Applied Industrial Technologies’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.66 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Applied Industrial Technologies will post $3.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th were issued a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 11th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.93%. Applied Industrial Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.12%.

In other Applied Industrial Technologies news, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 4,939 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.91, for a total value of $276,139.49. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 106,090 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,931,491.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Mark O. Eisele sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.11, for a total transaction of $336,660.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 153,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,586,457.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 73,571 shares of company stock valued at $4,070,841. Corporate insiders own 4.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Neuburgh Advisers LLC raised its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 6.2% in the first quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 1,892 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 2.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,741 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 64 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies in the first quarter worth $194,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 57.0% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,298 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $195,000 after buying an additional 1,198 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC raised its holdings in shares of Applied Industrial Technologies by 59.1% during the second quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC now owns 3,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $207,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. 88.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Applied Industrial Technologies

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc is an industrial distributor in North America, Australia and New Zealand, serving maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and original equipment manufacturing customers in various industries. In addition, the Company provides engineering, design, and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber, and fluid power shop services.

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