Motorola Solutions (MSI) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $108.00 price target on the communications equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Motorola Solutions have outperformed its industry in a year. The company's efforts to strengthen its software product portfolio raise optimism in the stock. In keeping with its objective, the company completed the acquisition of Kodiak Networks in 2017. Also, the company's decision to raise its quarterly dividend payout, in November 2017, is also encouraging. We are impressed by the company’s upbeat 2017 view as well. Moreover, Motorola's growth by acquisition strategy is noteworthy. The positive sentiment surrounding the stock may be gauged from the fact that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 earnings have increased 2.3% and  2.1%, respectively, over the last 90 days. However, the company's weak balance sheet is concerning. Additionally, the company's cash from operations is being hurt due to higher working capital requirement from the implementation of a new ERP system. “

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded Motorola Solutions from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Motorola Solutions in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Deutsche Bank upgraded Motorola Solutions from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, Cleveland Research upgraded Motorola Solutions from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $95.50.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE MSI) traded up $0.30 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $97.80. 1,070,388 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,060,000. Motorola Solutions has a 52 week low of $76.92 and a 52 week high of $98.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -5.41, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.30. The firm has a market cap of $15,840.00, a P/E ratio of 25.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.04 and a beta of 0.35.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The communications equipment provider reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.13. Motorola Solutions had a net margin of 10.51% and a negative return on equity of 92.09%. The company had revenue of $1.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.58 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.37 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Motorola Solutions will post 5.14 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a $0.52 dividend. This is a boost from Motorola Solutions’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.13%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Motorola Solutions’s payout ratio is presently 53.20%.

In other Motorola Solutions news, EVP Mark S. Hacker sold 7,411 shares of Motorola Solutions stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total value of $704,045.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,557,620. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Motorola Solutions, Inc. sold 949,779 shares of Motorola Solutions stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.00, for a total transaction of $14,246,685.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 1,336,176 shares of company stock valued at $49,961,105 over the last ninety days. 2.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. WINTON GROUP Ltd raised its stake in Motorola Solutions by 51.9% during the second quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 164,129 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $14,237,000 after acquiring an additional 56,105 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its stake in Motorola Solutions by 60.5% during the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 11,919 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,012,000 after acquiring an additional 4,495 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in Motorola Solutions by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 809,178 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $68,675,000 after acquiring an additional 2,600 shares in the last quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB bought a new position in Motorola Solutions during the 3rd quarter valued at $424,000. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its stake in shares of Motorola Solutions by 135.8% during the 3rd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 63,201 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $5,364,000 after purchasing an additional 36,400 shares during the period. 87.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions, Inc is a provider of communication infrastructure, devices, accessories, software and services. The Company operates through two segments: Products and Services. The Company’s Products segment offers a portfolio of infrastructure, devices, accessories and software. The Products segment has two product lines: Devices and Systems.

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