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Rockwell (ROK) Buys Fiix, To Offer Asset Maintenance Solutions

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Rockwell Automation, Inc. (ROK - Free Report) recently entered into an agreement to buy a Toronto-based Artificial Intelligence-enabled computerized maintenance management system (“CMMS”) company — Fiix Inc.

Fiix connects to business systems in an effort to drive data-driven decisions, while its cloud-native CMMS creates scheduling, organizing, and equipment maintenance workflows. The company’s revenues surged 70% in 2019.

The acquisition of Fiix will aid Rockwell’s customers to monitor and improve their assets performance as well as optimize maintenance work through a 360-degree view of integrated data across production, automation and maintenance.

Also, the recent buyout will boost Rockwell’s Lifecycle Services business, which provides industrial automation services to aid customers maximize the value of their production assets, plants, systems and processes. In fact, CMMS solutions help businesses operate more efficiently by reducing the utilization of waste and energy, while also saving money.

The deal is expected to close by end of calendar-year 2020. Following the acquisition, Fiix will be reported as part of Rockwell’s Software & Control operating segment.

The company is focused on buyouts that will boost its information solutions and high-value services offerings and capabilities, while expanding the global presence. In fiscal 2020, Rockwell acquired MESTECH Services, a global provider of Manufacturing Execution Systems/Manufacturing Operations Management, digital solutions consulting, and systems integration services. The acquisition has reinforced the company’s capabilities to fortify its Information Solutions and Connected Services globally, as well as boot the ability to help customers execute digital-transformation initiatives.

The company has also acquired Avnet Data Security, LTD, in a bid to boost its cybersecurity offerings — one of Rockwell’s fastest-growing businesses. In line with this, in April, the company completed the acquisitions of ASEM, a leading provider of digital automation technologies, and Kalypso, a privately-held U.S.-based software delivery and consulting firm specializing in the digital transformation of industrial companies, with a solid client base in life sciences, consumer products and industrial high-tech. On Oct 2, Rockwell announced that it has acquired industrial cybersecurity services provider company — Oylo.

Rockwell recently reported mixed fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein adjusted earnings of $1.87 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.77, while revenues of $1,570 million missed the Consensus Mark of $1,573 million. Both bottom- and top-line figures declined 7% and 9.3%, year over year, respectively.

The company has been witnessing improved order levels for the past few months and expects this momentum to continue in fiscal 2021 as well. Rockwell anticipates fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings per share to be $8.45-$8.85. The guidance indicates year-over-year growth of 10%. The projection is based on the assumption of a gradual recovery in the economy, with no further pandemic-related facility closures or disruptions to the supply chain. The company estimates sales of $6.8 billion in fiscal 2021.

Price Performance

Over the past six months, Rockwell’s shares have appreciated 19.1%, outperforming the industry’s growth of 17.5%.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Rockwell currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the Industrial Products sector are Crown Holdings, Inc. (CCK - Free Report) , iRobot Corporation (IRBT - Free Report) and SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. (SITE - Free Report) . While Crown Holdings and iRobot flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), SiteOne Landscape carries a Zacks Rank of 2, at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Crown Holdings has a projected earnings growth rate of 11.7% for fiscal 2020. Over the past six months, the company’s shares have appreciated 56.2%.

iRobot has an estimated earnings growth rate of 18.8% for the ongoing year. The company’s shares have gained 19.2% over the past six months.

SiteOne Landscape has an expected earnings growth rate of 28.6% for 2020. The stock has climbed 51.7% in six months’ time.

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