Woodward, Inc. (WWD) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Persistent weakness in large capital projects remains one of the major dampeners for Woodward's industrial segment. Also, the company’s dependence on government defense budgets, stiff competition it faces from a number of major players in the U.S. and abroad as well as sluggish growth in China are major concerns. Moreover, it underperformed the broader industry on a year-to-date basis. Further, a comparative analysis of the company’s historical EV/EBITDA ratio shows that the company is overvalued when compared to its own range as well as that of the broader industry. This indicates that there is no upside left for the company in terms of this metric.  However, Woodward stands to benefit from increased global usage of natural gas as a source of electricity and transportation fuel, while strong backlog in the commercial aerospace space buoys optimism.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on WWD. Wood & Company started coverage on Woodward in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. They set an outperform rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. started coverage on Woodward in a research report on Friday, July 14th. They set an outperform rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. CIBC started coverage on Woodward in a research report on Friday, July 14th. They set an outperform rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. Finally, BidaskClub cut Woodward from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $74.75.

Woodward (NASDAQ WWD) opened at 78.12 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $77.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.95. Woodward has a 1-year low of $57.09 and a 1-year high of $81.78. The stock has a market cap of $4.79 billion, a PE ratio of 24.57 and a beta of 1.24.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 27th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 13th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 10th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.64%. Woodward’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.77%.

In other Woodward news, Director John A. Halbrook sold 8,700 shares of Woodward stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.02, for a total transaction of $609,174.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 350,521 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,543,480.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director John A. Halbrook sold 1,800 shares of Woodward stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.60, for a total value of $127,080.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 345,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,407,902.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 16,200 shares of company stock valued at $1,138,389. 5.93% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Woodward by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,654 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Woodward by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,190 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Woodward during the 3rd quarter valued at about $222,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of Woodward by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,115 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 171 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Diversified Trust Co purchased a new position in shares of Woodward during the 2nd quarter valued at about $213,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.29% of the company’s stock.

About Woodward

Woodward, Inc is an independent designer, manufacturer and service provider of energy control and optimization solutions. The Company designs, produces and services energy control products for various applications. The Company’s segments include Aerospace and Industrial. The Company’s Aerospace segment designs, manufactures and services systems and products for the management of fuel, air, combustion and motion control.

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