ITT (NYSE:ITT) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ITT (NYSE:ITT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $65.00 target price on the conglomerate’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, ITT's stock has outperformed the industry. The company expects that strength in the chemical, mining, commercial aerospace and defense businesses, and higher demand for connectors and growth in automotive friction orders will drive revenues in the quarters ahead. Also, operational execution, fall in functional corporate costs, increased productivity and stronger sales volume are expected to boost the company's near-term profitability. In addition, the company intends to become more competent on the back of innovation investments. However, an increase in cost of sales mainly due to tariffs can hurt its margins. Also, given the company's extensive geographic presence, its financial performance is subject to various risks like foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, interest rates and hyperinflation in foreign countries.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded ITT from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, May 4th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of ITT in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. Oppenheimer set a $68.00 price target on ITT and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, UBS Group upgraded ITT from a sell rating to a neutral rating and lifted their price target for the company from $48.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $66.75.

ITT opened at $61.87 on Wednesday. ITT has a 52-week low of $44.89 and a 52-week high of $63.54. The company has a market cap of $5.42 billion, a PE ratio of 19.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.57.

ITT (NYSE:ITT) last posted its earnings results on Friday, May 3rd. The conglomerate reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.07. ITT had a return on equity of 16.69% and a net margin of 11.04%. The firm had revenue of $695.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $682.49 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that ITT will post 3.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Investors of record on Monday, June 10th will be given a dividend of $0.147 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 7th. This represents a $0.59 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.95%. ITT’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.27%.

In other ITT news, CFO Thomas M. Scalera sold 64,135 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.57, for a total value of $3,948,791.95. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 73,701 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,537,770.57. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Farrokh Batliwala sold 8,950 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.38, for a total value of $549,351.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ITT. Field & Main Bank bought a new stake in ITT in the first quarter worth $28,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its holdings in shares of ITT by 235.1% in the 1st quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 496 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $29,000 after acquiring an additional 348 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in shares of ITT by 4,727.0% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,673,955 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 1,639,276 shares during the period. Fort L.P. purchased a new position in shares of ITT in the 1st quarter valued at $47,000. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of ITT by 297.7% in the 4th quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,559 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $75,000 after acquiring an additional 1,167 shares during the period. 89.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About ITT

ITT Inc manufactures and sells engineered critical components and customized technology solutions for the energy, transportation, and industrial markets worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Motion Technologies, Industrial Process, and Connect & Control Technologies. The Motion Technologies segment manufactures braking pads, shims, shock absorbers, and energy absorption components; and sealing technologies primarily for the transportation industry, including passenger cars, light- and heavy-duty commercial and military vehicles, buses, and rail.

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