Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Dover (NYSE:DOV) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Backed by improved performances in the Engineered Systems and Fluids segments and expected benefits from its cost containment actions, Dover expects fiscal 2018 earnings per share to be $4.80-$4.85, which represents the top end of the previous guidance. The company is poised to gain from acquisitions, product digitization, e-commerce, new product development, and inorganic investment in core business platforms. Its strong bookings, cost-reduction initiatives and restructuring programs also remain growth drivers. Further, the spin-off of Apergy will help the company by focusing on less volatile core platforms.  The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the last few quarters. However, inflated input costs due to the imposition of tariffs and impact of weak retail refrigeration markets on Dover’s Refrigeration & Food Equipment segment remain concerns. The stock has underperformed the industry over the past year.”

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on DOV. Bank of America increased their price objective on shares of Dover from $95.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Oppenheimer reissued a hold rating on shares of Dover in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Dover from $96.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Dover from $90.00 to $91.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, SunTrust Banks increased their price objective on shares of Dover to $91.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $89.18.

DOV traded up $0.38 during trading on Friday, reaching $77.86. 1,290,953 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,229,357. The company has a current ratio of 1.30, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.39. Dover has a 12 month low of $65.83 and a 12 month high of $90.26.

Dover (NYSE:DOV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The industrial products company reported $1.36 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $1.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.76 billion. Dover had a net margin of 9.69% and a return on equity of 21.22%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.14 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Dover will post 4.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 17th. Investors of record on Friday, November 30th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 29th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. Dover’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.64%.

In related news, Director Mary A. Winston sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.29, for a total value of $164,580.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 13,055 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,074,295.95. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new stake in Dover in the 4th quarter valued at about $123,000. Centaurus Financial Inc. purchased a new stake in Dover in the 2nd quarter valued at about $127,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its stake in Dover by 151.5% in the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 2,128 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $188,000 after buying an additional 1,282 shares during the last quarter. Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Dover in the 3rd quarter valued at about $202,000. Finally, Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware purchased a new stake in Dover in the 3rd quarter valued at about $203,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.70% of the company’s stock.

Dover Company Profile

Dover Corporation provides equipment and components, specialty systems, consumable supplies, software and digital solutions, and support services worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Engineered Systems, Fluids, and Refrigeration & Food Equipment. The Engineered Systems segment offers precision marking and coding, digital textile printing, soldering and dispensing equipment, and related consumables and services; and automation components, including manual clamps, power clamps, rotary and linear mechanical indexers, conveyors, pick and place units, glove ports, and manipulators, as well as end-of-arm robotic grippers, slides, and end effectors for fast-moving consumer goods, digital textile printing, vehicle service, environmental solutions, and industrials end markets.

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