Tuesday, 23 April 2024

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Oppenheimer firm on Applied Industrial’s shares, spotlights growth and market position By Investing.com

Fitch places 'AAA' foreign-currency rating on U.S. on negative watch By Reuters

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On Wednesday, Oppenheimer reaffirmed its Outperform rating on Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) shares, maintaining a $235 price target. The firm highlighted the company’s operation across two segments, with Service Center Based Distribution accounting for two-thirds of the business and Engineered Solutions for the remaining third.

Applied Industrial Technologies connects thousands of suppliers with tens of thousands of customers, with the majority of its sales serving the industrial production environment, and a smaller portion catering to OEM/off-highway mobile.

The company’s financial targets include achieving over 13% EBITDA margins, an increase from the current approximately 12%, and reaching $5.5 billion in sales. This growth expectation is supported by a revenue compound annual growth rate that includes mid-single-digit organic growth and low-single-digit bolt-on acquisitions. Applied Industrial Technologies maintains a healthy balance sheet with net leverage at 0.3 times and gross leverage at 1.1 times, along with $413 million in cash.

Applied Industrial Technologies’ focus on the U.S. and North American markets is seen as advantageous in light of the current trends in nearshoring and reshoring. Additionally, the company is positioned to benefit from the technical workforce constraints faced by its customer base. Investment drivers for the company include upgrades across motion control and automation installed bases, which are influenced by electrification, energy transition, efficiency, productivity, and labor constraints.

Furthermore, the company is expected to benefit from public infrastructure spending, which could provide additional opportunities for growth. The analyst’s price target is based on a 21 times multiple of the firm’s projected fiscal year 2026 earnings per share (EPS).

InvestingPro Insights

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) has demonstrated a consistent commitment to shareholder returns, as evidenced by its track record of raising dividends for 14 consecutive years. This commitment is reinforced by the company’s ability to maintain dividend payments for an impressive 54 years in a row. Investors considering AIT will find additional confidence in the company’s financial health, with liquid assets surpassing short-term obligations and cash flows that are more than sufficient to cover interest payments. These factors underscore the company’s stability and reliability as an investment.

From a valuation…

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