Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $152.00 price target on the conglomerate’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, United Technologies' shares have outperformed the industry. The company continues to invest in innovative products through higher engineering spend, delivering value to its customers and securing orders that will drive top line growth in future. Going forward, stronger Otis, Climate Control and Security, Pratt & Whitney and Aerospace Systems sales, as well as new innovation investments will likely continue to drive United Technologies revenues. Also, higher revenues and cost-cutting measures are expected to boost profitability in the quarters ahead. However, material cost inflation has been escalating the company's costs, of late. These issues, along with additional tariff imposition, might continue to flare up the company's expenses. Also, the company's highly leverage balance sheet is worrying. In the past 60 days, earnings estimates on the stock decreased for 2018 while improved for 2019.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on UTX. Robert W. Baird raised their price target on shares of United Technologies from $156.00 to $167.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. ValuEngine raised shares of United Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. UBS Group began coverage on shares of United Technologies in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. They set a buy rating for the company. Jefferies Financial Group set a $157.00 price target on shares of United Technologies and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of United Technologies in a research report on Friday, June 15th. They set an overweight rating and a $160.00 price target for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $149.70.

NYSE:UTX traded up $0.26 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $129.63. The stock had a trading volume of 5,104,640 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,215,075. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. United Technologies has a 1-year low of $115.40 and a 1-year high of $144.15. The company has a market capitalization of $111.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.98.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The conglomerate reported $1.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.85 by $0.12. United Technologies had a net margin of 8.09% and a return on equity of 17.53%. The company had revenue of $16.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.26 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.85 earnings per share. United Technologies’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that United Technologies will post 7.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 16th will be issued a $0.735 dividend. This represents a $2.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 15th. This is an increase from United Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. United Technologies’s payout ratio is currently 42.11%.

In other United Technologies news, CFO Akhil Johri sold 3,428 shares of United Technologies stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.82, for a total value of $465,590.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 43,403 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,894,995.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Charles D. Gill sold 14,255 shares of United Technologies stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.43, for a total transaction of $1,944,809.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 55,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,507,606.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 18,511 shares of company stock valued at $2,521,974. 0.17% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UTX. Credit Agricole S A grew its holdings in United Technologies by 101.4% during the second quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 866 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 436 shares during the period. Jolley Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in United Technologies in the 2nd quarter worth about $114,000. Fort L.P. purchased a new position in United Technologies in the 2nd quarter worth about $120,000. WP Advisors LLC purchased a new position in United Technologies in the 2nd quarter worth about $126,000. Finally, Kiley Juergens Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in United Technologies in the 2nd quarter worth about $127,000. 81.68% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About United Technologies

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. Its Otis segment designs, manufactures, sells, and installs passenger and freight elevators, escalators, and moving walkways; and offers modernization products to upgrade elevators and escalators, as well as maintenance and repair services.

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