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Applied Industrial (AIT) Up 15.6% in 3 Months: Here's Why

Shares of Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. AIT have rallied 15.6% in the past three months, outperforming its industry’s growth of 10.4%.

Let’s look into the factors driving this presently Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) player.

What’s Aiding AIT?

Applied Industrial is benefiting from strength in technology, metals, chemicals, refining, automation, aggregates, rubber & plastics, pulp & paper, and other end markets. Also, its focus on pricing, and cross-selling actions and growth initiatives is aiding AIT. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended June 2022), AIT’s organic sales improved 18.7% year over year, driven by strength in its Service Center and Fluid Power & Flow Control segments.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Applied Industrial has been strengthening and expanding its businesses through asset additions for a while. AIT’s acquisition of R.R. Floody (August 2021) enhanced its product offerings in the automation technology space. Also, its buyout of Gibson (January 2021) added value to its automation solution offerings. Acquisitions positively impacted its sales 0.3% in fourth-quarter fiscal 2022.

AIT also remains committed to maximizing returns to its shareholders, leveraging a strong balance sheet and cash flows. During fiscal 2022, AIT paid out dividends of $51.8 million and repurchased shares worth $13.8 million. In January 2022, Applied Industrial hiked its quarterly dividend rate by 3%. Also, AIT launched a share buyback program to repurchase up to 1.5 million shares of its common stock in August.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked companies from the Industrial Products  sector are discussed below:

RBC Bearings Incorporated ROLL presently sports a Zacks Rank of 1. ROLL delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.4%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks.

ROLL’s earnings estimates have increased 31.1% for fiscal 2023 (ending March 2023) in the past 60 days. Its shares have gained 30% in the past three months.

Valmont Industries, Inc. VMI presently has a Zacks Rank of 2. VMI’s earnings surprise in the last four quarters was 13.7%, on average.

In the past 60 days, Valmont’s earnings estimates have increased 4.3% for 2022. The stock has rallied 24.7% in the past three months.

Greif, Inc. GEF presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). GEF delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.4%, on average.

GEF’s earnings estimates have increased 4.6% for fiscal 2022 (ending October 2022) in the past 60 days. Its shares have risen 10.2% in the past three months.

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