Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Woodward Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $67.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Woodward is steadily becoming a major supplier of aircraft, gas turbines and heavy-duty engines. The company also stands to benefit from increased global usage of natural gas as a source of electricity and transportation fuel. Woodward has also been recently witnessing strong backlog in the commercial aerospace space due to rising demand for fuel-efficient aircraft and increasing passenger miles. That said, Woodward's dependence on government defense budgets, stiff competition from a number of major players in the U.S. and abroad, persistent market weakness and sluggish growth in China are major concerns for the company.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Barrington Research assumed coverage on shares of Woodward in a report on Friday, September 16th. They set a market perform rating for the company. Jefferies Group set a $59.00 price target on shares of Woodward and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, Maxim Group raised their price target on shares of Woodward from $60.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $60.25.
Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) opened at 61.57 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.79 billion, a PE ratio of 23.46 and a beta of 1.33. The company’s 50-day moving average is $60.99 and its 200 day moving average is $56.73. Woodward has a 12-month low of $39.68 and a 12-month high of $63.98.
Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.05. The business earned $508 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $521.70 million. Woodward had a net margin of 8.40% and a return on equity of 15.53%. The business’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.66 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Woodward will post $2.78 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 14th will be issued a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 9th. Woodward’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 16.73%.
In other news, Director Mary L. Petrovich sold 8,200 shares of Woodward stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.54, for a total value of $480,028.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Christopher Fawzy sold 6,000 shares of Woodward stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.30, for a total transaction of $355,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 9,506 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $563,705.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Woodward by 28.8% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 443 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Woodward during the second quarter valued at $124,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Woodward by 2,301.0% in the second quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 2,301 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Woodward during the second quarter valued at $160,000. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Woodward by 112.5% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after buying an additional 1,688 shares in the last quarter. 75.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Woodward Company Profile
Woodward, Inc is a designer, manufacturer, and service provider of energy controls and optimization solutions. The Company has production and assembly facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia, and promotes its products and services through its worldwide locations. The Company’s is engaged in providing energy control and optimization solutions for the aerospace and energy markets.
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