Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) by 8.8% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,326,999 shares of the industrial products company’s stock after acquiring an additional 107,678 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc.’s holdings in Rockwell Automation were worth $260,564,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ROK. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the fourth quarter worth about $130,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the third quarter worth about $131,000. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the third quarter worth about $200,000. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the fourth quarter worth about $202,000. Finally, Cpwm LLC purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation during the fourth quarter worth about $204,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.24% of the company’s stock.
In other news, VP David M. Dorgan sold 10,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $202.41, for a total value of $2,105,064.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 12,853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,601,575.73. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Keith D. Nosbusch sold 10,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $203.00, for a total transaction of $2,131,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 430,199 shares in the company, valued at approximately $87,330,397. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 123,627 shares of company stock worth $23,604,488. Corporate insiders own 1.28% of the company’s stock.
Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.22. The firm had revenue of $1.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. Rockwell Automation had a net margin of 5.85% and a return on equity of 39.45%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.75 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Rockwell Automation will post 7.79 EPS for the current year.
Rockwell Automation announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 24th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a $0.835 dividend. This represents a $3.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.77%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is 117.19%.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday. Barclays assumed coverage on shares of Rockwell Automation in a report on Thursday, February 15th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $200.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rockwell Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $224.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of Rockwell Automation from $182.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Rockwell Automation from $194.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $190.00.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation, Inc (Rockwell Automation) is a provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions for manufacturers. The Company operates through two segments: Architecture & Software and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment contains various hardware, software and communication components of the Company’s integrated control and information architecture capable of controlling the customer’s industrial processes and connecting with their manufacturing enterprise.
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