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Here's Why Hold Strategy is Apt for ABB Stock Right Now

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ABB Ltd (ABB - Free Report) is benefiting from a healthy demand environment across most segments despite supply-chain disruptions, primarily inducing a shortage of semiconductors. While cost inflation in commodities, freight and labor is affecting ABB’s bottom line, pricing actions are providing significant relief.

Higher orders owing to strong customer activity are driving the Electrification segment. Strong underlying market demand and improved supply chains are contributing to growth in the Motion segment. The acquisitions of PowerTech Converter and Siemens' low-voltage NEMA motor business are expected to fortify the segment’s performance.

While headwinds in the energy-intense segments of the metals industry are denting revenues at the Process Automation segment (declined 3% year over year in the third quarter of 2022), high levels of customer activity are driving growth for the Robotics & Discrete Automation segment.

ABB Ltd Price and Consensus

ABB Ltd Price and Consensus

ABB Ltd price-consensus-chart | ABB Ltd Quote

ABB, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), is committed to rewarding its shareholders handsomely with dividend payments and share buybacks. In the first nine months of 2022, it paid out dividends worth $1,698 million. In April 2022, ABB launched a $3-billion share repurchase program to run through its 2023 annual general meeting.

So far, ABB has purchased 50 million shares for approximately $1.5 billion under this program. Under the previous program, completed in March 2022, ABB purchased 90 million shares for $3.1 billion. Such diligent capital deployment strategies boost shareholders' wealth.

ABB’s portfolio management strategy of acquiring key businesses and divesting non-core operations should fuel its growth. In January, it acquired a majority stake in InCharge Energy, which enhances its E-mobility business by expanding its customer base. and boosting its fleet electrification software and digital services offering in North America.

As part of its portfolio management strategy, in October, ABB completed the spin-off of its turbocharging unit Accelleron. This helps the company to focus on growing global megatrends in electrification and automation.
In September 2022, ABB inked a deal to sell its remaining 19.9% equity stake (80.1% of the stake was divested in 2020) in the Hitachi Energy joint venture to Hitachi, Ltd. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. The divestment will allow ABB to focus more on key market trends and customer needs of electrification of transport and industry, automated manufacturing, digital solutions and increased sustainable productivity.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks within the broader Industrial Products sector are as follows:

Enerpac Tool Group Corp. (EPAC - Free Report) delivered an average four-quarter earnings surprise of 3.4%. EPAC presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks.

Enerpac Tool’s estimated earnings growth rate for the current fiscal year is 44.6%. Shares of EPAC have jumped 23.4% in the past six months.

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT - Free Report) presently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1. AIT delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 24.8%, on average.

Applied Industrial has an estimated earnings growth rate of 14.3% for the current fiscal year. The stock has gained 32.7% in the past six months.

Parker-Hannifin Corporation (PH - Free Report) currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). PH pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.3%, on average.

Parker-Hannifin has an estimated earnings growth rate of 2.2% for the current fiscal year. Shares of PH have rallied 18.1% in the past six months.

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