William Blair assumed coverage on shares of Kadant Inc. (NYSE:KAI) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The firm issued a market perform rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on KAI. Barrington Research upped their price target on Kadant from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Seaport Global Securities downgraded Kadant from an accumulate rating to a neutral rating and set a $58.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Kadant from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kadant has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.00.

Shares of Kadant (NYSE:KAI) opened at 52.38 on Friday. Kadant has a 52 week low of $33.38 and a 52 week high of $56.57. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $53.29 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.85. The company has a market capitalization of $570.78 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.94 and a beta of 1.55.

Kadant (NYSE:KAI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.23. Kadant had a return on equity of 13.55% and a net margin of 8.39%. The firm had revenue of $111.83 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $104.44 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.78 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Kadant will post $3.04 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 13th will be paid a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 11th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.45%. Kadant’s payout ratio is currently 24.60%.

In other Kadant news, Director William P. Tully sold 3,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.85, for a total transaction of $194,437.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $259,250. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas C. Leonard sold 1,250 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total value of $65,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,040,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Kadant by 279.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,573 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 1,895 shares in the last quarter. Walleye Trading LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Kadant during the second quarter valued at approximately $185,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Kadant by 7.8% in the second quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 3,870 shares of the company’s stock valued at $200,000 after buying an additional 280 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Kadant during the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in shares of Kadant by 103.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 5,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $234,000 after buying an additional 2,625 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.85% of the company’s stock.

About Kadant

Kadant Inc is a supplier of equipment used in process industries. The process industries, including papermaking, paper recycling and oriented strand board (OSB), an engineered wood panel product used primarily in home construction. In addition, the Company manufactures granules made from papermaking byproducts.

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