Actuant Corp. (ATU) Rating Lowered to Market Perform at Wells Fargo & Co.
Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) was downgraded by stock analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.
The analysts wrote, “Reaching this goal is contingent on bolt-on acquisitions, core growth above the market, and end market support. Core growth above the market is our primary concern,” senior analyst Allison Poliniak-Cusic wrote in a note.Related Link: Wells Fargo Downgrades Actuant To Market PerformDespite acknowledging Actuant’s good fundamentals, Poliniak-Cusic said the company’s investment in organic growth will take time to show meaningful progress amid significant end-market headwinds. The company’s end markets include oil and gas (mainly offshore), agriculture and industrial.Further, the tepid end-markets could also delay results of the company’s efforts to drive long-term revenue growth via expansions in product and service, end market, geographic penetration and increased channel effectiveness.”Therefore, we are moving to the sidelines and could become more constructive on the name should we see sustained progress in regards to the company’s 5-year plan, all else equal,” Poliniak-Cusic continued.It’s Not All NegativeThe analyst is also encouraged by CEO Randal Baker’s greater emphasis on operational excellence to achieve 100bps of annual margin improvement target, which implies a return to mid-teens EBIT percent.Poliniak-Cusic noted that the company is well poised for a potential recovery in macro-environment, driven by new products, greater penetration and operating leverage.The analyst, who has a valuation range of $26-$28, noted that management needs to regain investor confidence on the M&A front due to its past missteps.”An assembler (hence low capital user), ATU is a superb cash flow generator, in our opinion, that uses its cash to deleverage and acquire ‘good fit, low risk’ bolt-ons,”
Several other research analysts have also issued reports on ATU. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Actuant Corp. in a research report on Saturday, October 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Actuant Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their price target on shares of Actuant Corp. from $30.00 to $27.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Actuant Corp. from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $25.00 to $20.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Actuant Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Actuant Corp. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $23.67.
Shares of Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) traded down 3.38% on Friday, hitting $23.17. The company had a trading volume of 678,622 shares. Actuant Corp. has a 12-month low of $20.49 and a 12-month high of $27.71. The company’s market cap is $1.37 billion. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.20 and a 200-day moving average of $24.51.
Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, September 28th. The company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $275.77 million for the quarter. Actuant Corp. had a negative net margin of 9.15% and a positive return on equity of 13.22%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.37 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Actuant Corp. will post ($0.01) earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.04 per share. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.69%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. Actuant Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently -2.23%.
In related news, CEO Randal W. Baker purchased 10,795 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 11th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $23.14 per share, for a total transaction of $249,796.30. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 63,979 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,480,474.06. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 3.90% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATU. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Actuant Corp. by 142.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 2,744 shares during the last quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Actuant Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its stake in Actuant Corp. by 3.7% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 7,467 shares of the company’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 269 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its stake in Actuant Corp. by 18.4% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 8,243 shares of the company’s stock valued at $186,000 after buying an additional 1,283 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Actuant Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $224,000.
Actuant Corp. Company Profile
Actuant Corporation is a global diversified company that designs, manufactures and distributes a range of industrial products and systems to various end markets. The Company is organized into three operating segments: Industrial, Energy and Engineered Solutions. The Industrial segment is involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of branded hydraulic and mechanical tools to the maintenance, industrial, infrastructure and production automation markets.
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