Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) was downgraded by ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

ITW has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 target price (down previously from $170.00) on shares of Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Wolfe Research started coverage on Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. They issued an “underperform” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Illinois Tool Works in a research report on Monday, August 20th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $146.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Illinois Tool Works from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada dropped their target price on Illinois Tool Works to $150.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Illinois Tool Works currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $159.53.

Shares of ITW stock opened at $130.67 on Thursday. Illinois Tool Works has a fifty-two week low of $128.75 and a fifty-two week high of $179.07. The stock has a market cap of $47.33 billion, a PE ratio of 19.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a current ratio of 1.73.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The industrial products company reported $1.97 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.97. The firm had revenue of $3.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.85 billion. Illinois Tool Works had a return on equity of 56.74% and a net margin of 12.70%. Illinois Tool Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.69 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Illinois Tool Works will post 7.63 EPS for the current year.

Illinois Tool Works declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, August 3rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to purchase up to 6.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Richard H. Lenny purchased 1,778 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 27th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $140.85 per share, with a total value of $250,431.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.82% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas acquired a new position in Illinois Tool Works in the third quarter valued at approximately $239,000. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 0.5% in the third quarter. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC now owns 99,933 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $14,103,000 after acquiring an additional 480 shares during the period. Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 48.7% in the third quarter. Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC now owns 226,200 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $31,921,000 after acquiring an additional 74,074 shares during the period. BLB&B Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Illinois Tool Works in the third quarter valued at approximately $225,000. Finally, Stokes Capital Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Illinois Tool Works by 4.1% in the third quarter. Stokes Capital Advisors LLC now owns 15,690 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,214,000 after acquiring an additional 615 shares during the period. 76.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc manufactures and sells industrial products and equipment worldwide. It operates through seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The Automotive OEM segment offers plastic and metal components, fasteners, and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks, and other industrial uses.

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Analyst Recommendations for Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW)

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