Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) CEO Blake D. Moret sold 5,584 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.97, for a total value of $982,616.48. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,196 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,249,260.12. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Shares of NYSE:ROK traded down $4.27 during trading on Friday, hitting $162.98. 24,256 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 825,062. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 1.01. Rockwell Automation has a 12-month low of $153.67 and a 12-month high of $209.38.

Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The industrial products company reported $2.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.77 billion. Rockwell Automation had a return on equity of 57.53% and a net margin of 8.03%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.69 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Rockwell Automation will post 9.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 10th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.97 per share. This is a positive change from Rockwell Automation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.92. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.38%. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is 47.84%.

Rockwell Automation announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, September 6th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to buy up to 4.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Centaurus Financial Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Rockwell Automation during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Rockwell Automation by 3,577.8% in the 3rd quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 662 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 644 shares in the last quarter. Fort L.P. purchased a new stake in Rockwell Automation in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Rockwell Automation by 200.0% in the 3rd quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 750 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Belpointe Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Rockwell Automation in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $149,000. 75.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

ROK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Rockwell Automation in a report on Tuesday, August 21st. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $163.00 price objective on the stock. UBS Group lowered their price objective on Rockwell Automation from $210.00 to $205.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 30th. ValuEngine raised Rockwell Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Rockwell Automation in a report on Friday, October 12th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $171.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Cowen lowered Rockwell Automation from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $175.00 to $150.00 in a report on Monday, October 15th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Rockwell Automation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $178.87.

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About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.

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