Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Escalade (NASDAQ:ESCA) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $14.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Escalade, Incorporated is a diversified company engaged in the manufacture and sale of sporting goods products and office and graphic arts products. The company offers a broad and complete product selection that is built on innovation and cutting edge product design. These diverse products include table tennis tables and equipment; pool tables and equipment; other game tables which include table soccer, table hockey, and multi games; basketball systems; and archery Equipment. “

Shares of Escalade (NASDAQ ESCA) traded up $0.30 on Friday, hitting $12.85. The stock had a trading volume of 8,561 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,925. The company has a market cap of $180.39, a P/E ratio of 12.98, a PEG ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 0.16. The company has a current ratio of 4.11, a quick ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. Escalade has a 12-month low of $11.31 and a 12-month high of $14.38.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 19th. Investors of record on Monday, March 12th will be given a $0.125 dividend. This is an increase from Escalade’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 9th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.89%. Escalade’s payout ratio is presently 46.46%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ESCA. Deutsche Bank AG lifted its position in Escalade by 69.4% in the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 40,445 shares of the company’s stock worth $496,000 after buying an additional 16,575 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Escalade by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 370,585 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,855,000 after purchasing an additional 12,160 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in Escalade by 9.8% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 130,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,710,000 after purchasing an additional 11,654 shares during the period. Beddow Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Escalade by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Beddow Capital Management Inc. now owns 471,928 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,805,000 after purchasing an additional 9,464 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Escalade by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 129,228 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,693,000 after purchasing an additional 8,726 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 26.59% of the company’s stock.

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About Escalade

Escalade, Incorporated (Escalade) is a manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods through its subsidiary Escalade Sports. The Company operates in Sporting Goods (Escalade Sports) segment. Escalade Sports manufactures, imports and distributes sporting goods brands in basketball goals, archery, indoor and outdoor game recreation and fitness products through sporting goods retailers, specialty dealers, key online retailers, traditional department stores and mass merchants.

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