Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $66.00 price objective on the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Badger Meter is focused on its cost containment actions, including reductions in discretionary spending, hiring freeze, reduced work hour furloughs and executive salary reductions to mitigate the impact of sales decline on profitability and cash flows. Demand for ultrasonic meter technology and ORION Cellular LTE-M radios continues to gain traction. New product offerings, including E-Series Ultrasonic Plus with integrated valve, bode well. However, competitive pressures in the marketplace for Badger Meter’s products affect its position, leading to a loss of market share. The company’s growth depends on its ability to develop technologically advanced products that meet appropriate industry standards. The inability to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials and parts for its products at favorable prices could hurt its business.”

BMI has been the subject of a number of other reports. Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on Badger Meter from $53.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, June 18th. Argus initiated coverage on Badger Meter in a research report on Tuesday, June 30th. They set a buy rating and a $71.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $61.40.

Shares of NYSE BMI opened at $63.47 on Tuesday. Badger Meter has a one year low of $41.50 and a one year high of $70.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.83 billion, a PE ratio of 39.67 and a beta of 0.78. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $64.00 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $60.31.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 16th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by ($0.02). Badger Meter had a return on equity of 13.93% and a net margin of 11.15%. The business had revenue of $91.16 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $98.66 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.39 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Badger Meter will post 1.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 11th. Investors of record on Friday, August 28th were paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. This is an increase from Badger Meter’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 27th. Badger Meter’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 44.72%.

In related news, VP Kimberly K. Stoll sold 2,308 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $140,788.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 6,546 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $399,306. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Fred J. Begale sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.66, for a total value of $95,490.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,750 shares in the company, valued at $175,065. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky boosted its holdings in Badger Meter by 12.2% in the 2nd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 7,365 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $463,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Handelsbanken Fonder AB acquired a new position in shares of Badger Meter during the second quarter valued at about $374,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 10.7% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 143,058 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $9,001,000 after buying an additional 13,884 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 67.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,391 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 1,767 shares during the period. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its position in Badger Meter by 10.2% during the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 255,216 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $16,059,000 after buying an additional 23,572 shares in the last quarter. 83.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Badger Meter Company Profile

Badger Meter, Inc provides flow measurement, control, and communication solutions worldwide. It offers mechanical and electronic water meters, and related technologies and services to municipal water utilities; and meters and valves to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including water, air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases, as well as for use in water/wastewater, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, test and measurement, automotive aftermarket, and the concrete construction process industries.

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