Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of IDEX (NYSE:IEX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $159.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, IDEX‘s shares have outperformed the industry. The company stands to gain from solid product portfolio, strengthening end-markets and acquired assets in the quarters ahead. Also, its policy of rewarding shareholders handsomely through dividends and buybacks raises its appeal. Earnings are predicted to be $5.70-$5.85 in 2019, higher than $5.60-$5.80 per share mentioned earlier. Organic sales are projected to grow 4-5%. Also, earnings estimates for 2019 and 2020 improved in the past 30 days. However, the company has been dealing with adverse impacts of higher cost of sales and operating expenses for quite some time now. In addition, unfavorable movements in foreign currencies are predicted to adversely impact sales by 1% in 2019. Further, increases in debt levels can increase its financial obligations.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of IDEX from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, March 29th. Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of IDEX in a research note on Wednesday, May 15th. They set a buy rating and a $180.00 price objective for the company. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of IDEX in a research note on Wednesday, May 8th. DA Davidson reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of IDEX in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of IDEX in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. IDEX currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $151.80.

IEX stock opened at $152.71 on Thursday. IDEX has a fifty-two week low of $117.72 and a fifty-two week high of $159.51. The company has a quick ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 3.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 1.27.

IDEX (NYSE:IEX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.37 by $0.07. IDEX had a net margin of 16.92% and a return on equity of 21.22%. The firm had revenue of $622.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $634.38 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.27 earnings per share. IDEX’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that IDEX will post 5.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 31st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 17th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. This is a positive change from IDEX’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 16th. IDEX’s payout ratio is presently 36.97%.

In other news, SVP Daniel J. Salliotte sold 7,125 shares of IDEX stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.06, for a total transaction of $1,090,552.50. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 44,545 shares in the company, valued at $6,818,057.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael J. Yates sold 15,178 shares of IDEX stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.97, for a total value of $2,382,490.66. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 38,590 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,057,472.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,423 shares of company stock valued at $16,055,566 over the last ninety days. 1.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of IDEX during the fourth quarter worth $25,000. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of IDEX by 64.9% during the first quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 183 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of IDEX by 55.7% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 204 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares during the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of IDEX during the fourth quarter worth $32,000. Finally, Essex Investment Management Co. LLC bought a new stake in shares of IDEX during the fourth quarter worth $33,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.67% of the company’s stock.

IDEX Company Profile

IDEX Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as an applied solutions company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Fluid & Metering Technologies (FMT), Health & Science Technologies (HST), and Fire & Safety/Diversified Products (FSDP). The FMT segment designs, produces, and distributes positive displacement pumps, flow meters, injectors, and other fluid-handling pump modules and systems, as well as offers flow monitoring and other services for the food, chemical, general industrial, water and wastewater, agricultural, and energy industries.

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