Badger Meter (BMI) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Badger Meter remains optimistic about second-quarter 2018 and for the full-year 2018 due to significant rise in backlog and increased order rates. Increased shipments for FIN, a joint venture between Balkan and Upinar — which utilizes Badger Meter’s D-Flow ultrasonic technology and continued strength in Flow Instrumentation orders are likely to drive growth. Also, the company is poised to gain from growing demand for E-Series meters and ORION cellular endpoints, as well as BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics managed solution. However, in a year’s time, Badger Meter has underperformed the industry average. Also, its estimates have been going down over the past couple of months. Moreover, elevated copper prices are likely to impact the company’s margins in the near future. This apart, the company will incur charges related to the termination of its frozen pension plan in 2018, which might affect earnings.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Canaccord Genuity upgraded Badger Meter from a sell rating to a hold rating and upped their target price for the stock from $40.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Friday, June 15th. ValuEngine upgraded Badger Meter from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating and issued a $41.00 target price (down from $49.00) on shares of Badger Meter in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Boenning Scattergood restated a hold rating on shares of Badger Meter in a research note on Wednesday, April 18th. Finally, Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on Badger Meter from $48.00 to $43.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.80.

NYSE:BMI opened at $45.90 on Tuesday. Badger Meter has a 52-week low of $39.10 and a 52-week high of $52.10. The firm has a market cap of $1.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.57, a P/E/G ratio of 3.77 and a beta of 0.67.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 17th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37 by ($0.11). The business had revenue of $105.04 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.17 million. Badger Meter had a return on equity of 12.11% and a net margin of 8.22%. Badger Meter’s revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Badger Meter will post 1.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 31st were paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 30th. This represents a $0.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. Badger Meter’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.70%.

In other news, CFO Richard E. Johnson sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.76, for a total value of $447,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 95,982 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,296,154.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BMI. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 134,633 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $6,436,000 after purchasing an additional 4,906 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 8.5% in the 4th quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 36,259 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $1,733,000 after purchasing an additional 2,840 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas purchased a new position in shares of Badger Meter in the 4th quarter worth about $480,000. Swiss National Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 3.5% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 49,600 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $2,371,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 29.9% in the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 180,024 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $8,605,000 after purchasing an additional 41,479 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.02% of the company’s stock.

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.

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