Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Traders bought 6,139 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,644% compared to the typical daily volume of 352 put options.

In other Illinois Tool Works news, insider John R. Hartnett sold 6,533 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total transaction of $1,012,615.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,622 shares in the company, valued at $2,886,410. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Roland M. Martel sold 64,818 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.41, for a total transaction of $10,851,181.38. Following the sale, the insider now owns 26,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,389,825.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 214,791 shares of company stock worth $34,665,964 over the last three months. Company insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. E&G Advisors LP bought a new stake in shares of Illinois Tool Works in the fourth quarter valued at about $250,000. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 6.4% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 682,416 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $113,859,000 after purchasing an additional 41,105 shares during the period. Strategic Advisors LLC bought a new position in Illinois Tool Works during the fourth quarter worth about $225,000. Liberty Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc. now owns 32,145 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $5,481,000 after purchasing an additional 575 shares during the period. Finally, Wendell David Associates Inc. lifted its stake in Illinois Tool Works by 8.2% during the fourth quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. now owns 39,030 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $6,512,000 after purchasing an additional 2,970 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE ITW) opened at $169.22 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 2.41 and a quick ratio of 1.98. Illinois Tool Works has a one year low of $122.25 and a one year high of $171.92. The firm has a market cap of $57,970.00, a PE ratio of 25.95, a P/E/G ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 1.18.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last released its earnings results on Monday, October 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.20. Illinois Tool Works had a net margin of 16.12% and a return on equity of 47.21%. The business had revenue of $3.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.50 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Illinois Tool Works will post 6.7 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th were paid a $0.78 dividend. This represents a $3.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 28th. Illinois Tool Works’s payout ratio is presently 47.85%.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works from $176.00 to $186.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Illinois Tool Works from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $189.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, January 12th. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Illinois Tool Works from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $180.00 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Monday, December 11th. They set a “buy” rating and a $190.00 price target for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $166.00 price target on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $168.06.

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About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc is a manufacturer of industrial products and equipment. The Company operates through seven segments. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces test and measurement, and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) solutions.

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