Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of IDEX (NYSE:IEX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, IDEX‘s shares have outperformed the industry. The company stands to gain from solid product portfolio, strengthening end-markets and acquired assets in the quarters ahead. Also, its policy of rewarding shareholders handsomely through dividends and buybacks raises its appeal. Earnings are predicted to be $5.70-$5.85 in 2019, higher than $5.60-$5.80 per share mentioned earlier. Organic sales are projected to grow 4-5%. Also, earnings estimates for 2019 and 2020 improved in the past 30 days. However, the company has been dealing with adverse impacts of higher cost of sales and operating expenses for quite some time now. In addition, unfavorable movements in foreign currencies are predicted to adversely impact sales by 1% in 2019 and by roughly 2% in the second quarter.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. DA Davidson reiterated a neutral rating on shares of IDEX in a report on Friday, April 26th. Oppenheimer reiterated a hold rating on shares of IDEX in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a hold rating on shares of IDEX in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Janney Montgomery Scott cut IDEX from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on IDEX from $129.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $153.40.

Shares of IEX opened at $153.46 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 3.33, a quick ratio of 2.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. IDEX has a 1 year low of $117.72 and a 1 year high of $159.51. The stock has a market cap of $11.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.37, a P/E/G ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 1.27.

IDEX (NYSE:IEX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.07. IDEX had a return on equity of 21.22% and a net margin of 16.92%. The business had revenue of $622.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $634.38 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.27 EPS. IDEX’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that IDEX will post 5.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 31st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 17th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This is a boost from IDEX’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 16th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.30%. IDEX’s payout ratio is presently 31.79%.

In other IDEX news, Chairman Andrew K. Silvernail sold 81,120 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.11, for a total value of $12,582,523.20. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 173,947 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,980,919.17. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael J. Yates sold 11,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.72, for a total value of $1,649,373.84. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 26,590 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,848,104.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 107,695 shares of company stock worth $16,614,388 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in IEX. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in IDEX by 10,176.1% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,856,591 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $38,000 after acquiring an additional 4,809,330 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of IDEX during the 4th quarter worth approximately $90,803,000. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of IDEX by 55.9% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,733,558 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $218,879,000 after purchasing an additional 621,397 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of IDEX during the 4th quarter worth approximately $26,223,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of IDEX by 151.7% during the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 325,646 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $49,414,000 after purchasing an additional 196,243 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.64% of the company’s stock.

About IDEX

IDEX Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as an applied solutions company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Fluid & Metering Technologies (FMT), Health & Science Technologies (HST), and Fire & Safety/Diversified Products (FSDP). The FMT segment designs, produces, and distributes positive displacement pumps, flow meters, injectors, and other fluid-handling pump modules and systems, as well as offers flow monitoring and other services for the food, chemical, general industrial, water and wastewater, agricultural, and energy industries.

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