Kadant Inc (NYSE:KAI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $98.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 13.03% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Kadant Inc. is a leading supplier of a range of products and systems for the global papermaking and paper-recycling industries, including de-inking systems, stock-preparation equipment, water-management systems, and papermaking accessories. Through its majority-owned Thermo Fibergen subsidiary, the company also develops and commercializes composite building materials produced from natural fiber and recycled plastic. Kadant is a public subsidiary of Thermo Electron Corporation.(Press Release) “

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Sidoti restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Kadant in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. Barrington Research upped their price objective on Kadant from $80.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. William Blair upgraded Kadant from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Kadant from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $77.20.

Kadant (KAI) opened at 86.70 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $76.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $67.36. Kadant has a 12-month low of $49.19 and a 12-month high of $86.80. The stock has a market cap of $953.79 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.62 and a beta of 1.36.

Kadant (NYSE:KAI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The industrial products company reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.13. Kadant had a return on equity of 12.92% and a net margin of 8.10%. The business had revenue of $110.24 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $113.49 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.88 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Kadant will post $3.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Kadant declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the industrial products company to purchase up to 2.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Kadant during the second quarter valued at $127,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Kadant by 718.3% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,743 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 1,530 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Kadant by 30.0% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,969 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $176,000 after buying an additional 686 shares during the period. Guggenheim Capital LLC acquired a new position in Kadant during the fourth quarter valued at $201,000. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Kadant during the first quarter valued at $203,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.30% of the company’s stock.

Kadant Company Profile

Kadant Inc is a supplier of equipment and components used in process industries. In addition, the Company manufactures granules made from papermaking by-products. Its segments include Papermaking Systems and Wood Processing Systems. The Company has a customer base, which includes paper and oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturers.

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