Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $53.00 price objective on the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “FLIR Systems’ third-quarter 2017 earnings per share topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.3% on solid top-line growth. During the reported quarter, the company’s solid execution and streamlined business has aided it drive solid improvements in backlog, adjusted gross margin and earnings per share. Going forward, the company believes that its robust pipeline of products and steady market traction of the recently launched products will continue to drive revenue growth. Moreover, FLIR Systems’ strategic acquisitions and robust momentum in its commercial products are also expected to propel growth. Despite these positives, year to date, FLIR Systems’ shares have underperformed compared with the industry average. Its gross margins are vulnerable to a host of factors, including product mix changes and manufacturing cost absorption.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on FLIR. Needham & Company LLC reissued a buy rating and issued a $50.00 target price (up previously from $42.00) on shares of FLIR Systems in a research note on Thursday. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of FLIR Systems in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. boosted their target price on FLIR Systems to $60.00 and gave the company a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. BidaskClub lowered FLIR Systems from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, UBS AG raised FLIR Systems from a market perform rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. FLIR Systems presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $46.33.

Shares of FLIR Systems (NASDAQ FLIR) traded down 0.91% during trading on Thursday, reaching $46.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,056,747 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $41.35 and its 200-day moving average is $38.09. The stock has a market cap of $6.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.14 and a beta of 0.60. FLIR Systems has a 12-month low of $31.81 and a 12-month high of $48.06.

FLIR Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.04. FLIR Systems had a return on equity of 14.30% and a net margin of 12.30%. The firm had revenue of $464.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $446.06 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.48 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 14.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that FLIR Systems will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th will be paid a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 22nd. FLIR Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.74%.

In related news, COO Thomas A. Surran sold 261,320 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.25, for a total transaction of $9,995,490.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Earl R. Lewis sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.22, for a total value of $764,400.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 509,379 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,468,465.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in FLIR Systems by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,611,660 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $471,779,000 after purchasing an additional 285,535 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in FLIR Systems by 6.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,366,367 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $324,639,000 after purchasing an additional 576,951 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in FLIR Systems by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,459,779 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $198,084,000 after purchasing an additional 73,938 shares during the period. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC increased its holdings in FLIR Systems by 153.9% during the 2nd quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 3,038,846 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $105,326,000 after purchasing an additional 1,841,965 shares during the period. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC increased its holdings in FLIR Systems by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 2,128,673 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $73,780,000 after purchasing an additional 90,335 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.73% of the company’s stock.

About FLIR Systems

FLIR Systems, Inc (FLIR) designs, develops, markets and distributes thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locater systems, measurement and diagnostic systems and threat-detection solutions. The Company’s segments include Surveillance, Instruments, Security, OEM & Emerging Markets, Maritime and Detection.

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Analyst Recommendations for FLIR Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR)

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