ESCO Technologies (ESE) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Nexus Energy Software, a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc., enables the vision of what energy information can accomplish for the twenty first Century Utility by transforming both energy company and customer views of energy. Nexus’ leading, proven-at-scale solutions support customer interactions via self-service and the contact center, while enhancing operating functions with analytic applications that integrate meter, customer, and asset data. Nexus’ ENERGYprism, Energy Vision and Nexus MDMS product lines are in use at over eighty five energy companies worldwide, supporting millions of interactions and transactions each year, “

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of ESCO Technologies in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a positive rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of ESCO Technologies in a research report on Friday, November 16th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of ESCO Technologies from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Stephens set a $67.00 price objective on shares of ESCO Technologies and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Sunday, August 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $73.75.

Shares of ESCO Technologies stock opened at $70.07 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.97, a quick ratio of 1.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. ESCO Technologies has a 52-week low of $54.35 and a 52-week high of $71.47. The company has a market capitalization of $1.82 billion, a PE ratio of 25.38 and a beta of 1.05.

ESCO Technologies (NYSE:ESE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 15th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.06. ESCO Technologies had a net margin of 11.94% and a return on equity of 10.06%. The firm had revenue of $231.09 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $228.93 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that ESCO Technologies will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 18th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 3rd will be given a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 2nd. ESCO Technologies’s payout ratio is currently 11.55%.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in ESCO Technologies by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,762,026 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $256,006,000 after purchasing an additional 116,585 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in ESCO Technologies by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,467,138 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $167,889,000 after purchasing an additional 37,564 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in ESCO Technologies by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,838,466 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $125,107,000 after purchasing an additional 6,483 shares during the last quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC grew its position in ESCO Technologies by 14.4% during the 3rd quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,086,146 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $73,912,000 after purchasing an additional 137,016 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. grew its position in ESCO Technologies by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 943,108 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $54,417,000 after purchasing an additional 12,254 shares during the last quarter. 94.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About ESCO Technologies

ESCO Technologies Inc, through its subsidiaries, produces and supplies engineered products and systems for utility, industrial, aerospace, and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Filtration segment supplies filtration and fluid control products, including filter elements, manifolds, assemblies, modules, indicators, custom and standard valves, filters, regulators, actuators, and other related components; and elastomeric-based signature reduction solutions.

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