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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights AMETEK, Fortive and Itron

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 1, 2024 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses AMETEK (AME - Free Report) , Fortive (FTV - Free Report) and Itron (ITRI - Free Report) .

Industry: Electronics - Testing Equipment


The Zacks Electronics – Testing Equipment industry has been benefiting from 5G-related growth opportunities, strengthening automation drive and the Industry 4.0 momentum for a while. A strong recovery in the automotive sector, along with the growing proliferation of self-driving vehicles and solid prospects of the Advanced Driver Assistance System, is a tailwind for the industry players. The increasing adoption of software-enabled testing instruments and devices is another positive. Industry participants like AMETEK, Fortive and Itron are well-poised to benefit from the aforementioned factors.

However, a challenging global macroeconomic environment, end-market volatility, recessionary fears, unfavorable forex and growing geo-political tensions are persistent concerns for the underlined industry.

Industry Description

The Zacks Electronics – Testing Equipment industry comprises companies offering advanced instruments, electronic testing equipment solutions, thermal management systems, electrical connectors, motors and various test solutions. The major end markets served by this industry are consumer, automobile, industrial, aerospace and defense, healthcare, semiconductors, and communications, to name a few. Industry participants have been making technological advancements to gain traction among semiconductors, vehicles, machinery, smartphones and medical device manufacturers, who are constantly increasing their spending on electronic components.

4 Trends Shaping the Future of Electronics - Testing Equipment Industry

5G Prospects Act as Boons: The growing deployment of 5G holds near-term promises for the industry players. Another major positive is an uptick in demand for 5G test solutions required for 5G deployment. In addition, the ongoing trend of migrating infrastructure workloads to cloud, which continues to bolster the demand for high-speed Internet services, bodes well for electronic companies associated with 5G.

The growing number of high-speed data centers worldwide is another tailwind. Given the upbeat scenario, the industry is anticipated to remain on the growth trajectory, backed by efforts to reinforce the 5G strength.

Solid Adoption of Motion Control & Test Systems Is a Positive: The rising utilization of precision motion-control solutions and automatic test systems in motion-control devices and testing products, particularly in the aerospace, automation, medical and military markets, is an upside. Further, commercial motor and autonomous vehicles will likely continue to hike the demand for vehicle-tracking systems, fleet-management solutions and other private fleet applications, which are part of the industry’s key offerings.

Synergies in the Pharmaceutical Market Are Tailwinds: The industry has been steadily gaining from the increasing use of electrical instruments and software to interrogate the biological properties of molecules and cells in clinical and medical science research. The rapid adoption of the solutions is anticipated to drive growth for participants in the pharmaceutical end market.

Agilent is capitalizing on the trend and gaining traction in the life science research space. The pharmaceutical market holds immense prospects, courtesy of the growing utilization of electronic testing equipment. Rising demand for RF test equipment by medical device manufacturers is another uptrend.

Macroeconomic Headwinds Pose Concerns: Aggravating global recession fears and high inflation have negatively impacted the rate of deal wins. Due to the challenging macroeconomic scenario, enterprises are reluctant to sign multi-year deals worldwide. These trends do not bode well for the industry participants.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright Prospects

The Zacks Electronics – Testing Equipment industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #57, which places it in the top 23% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates solid near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Before we present a few stocks worth considering for your portfolio, let us look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and the valuation picture.

Industry Underperforms S&P 500 & Sector

In the past year, the Zacks Electronics – Testing Equipment Industry has underperformed the Zacks S&P 500 composite and the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector.

The companies in the industry have collectively gained 17% compared with the S&P 500 and the Computer and Technology sector’s rally of 31.3% and 47.9%, respectively, in the said period.

Industry's Current Valuation

Based on the forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), a commonly used multiple for valuing the Electronics – Testing Equipment stocks, the industry is currently trading at 26.18X, higher than the S&P 500’s 21.28X and lower than the sector’s 26.68X.

Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 31.40X and as low as 18.63X, with a median of 24.72X.

3 Testing Equipment Stocks to Buy

AMETEK: This Berwyn, PA-based player is gaining from solid contributions from the Navitar, Alphasense, Magnetrol International and Crank Software acquisitions, which are driving growth in its Electronic Instruments segment. Benefits from the Pacific Design Technologies buyout are aiding the Electromechanical segment. Additionally, the recent acquisitions of Bison Gear & Engineering Corp., United Electronic Industries, Amplifier Research Corp. and Paragon Medical are expected to contribute well to AMETEK’s top-line growth in the days ahead.

AME manufactures electronic appliances and electromechanical devices. The company remains optimistic about its AMETEK Growth Model. This Zacks #2 Ranked (Buy) player’s proper execution of its four core growth strategies, namely operational excellence, global market expansion, investments in product development, and acquisitions, are expected to continue aiding its financial performance in the near term.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The AME stock has gained 31.1% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2024 earnings has been revised 1.2% upward over the past 60 days to $6.82 per share.

Fortive: This Everett, WA-based company is benefiting from the strong demand trends for software and services offerings and increased orders. A solid momentum across the Fortive Business System tools is a key catalyst. Growing momentum in the healthcare business is another positive. Apart from this, the acquisition of Solmetric is aiding the company in expanding its footprint in the electrification market.

The Zacks Rank #2 company, which is a provider of industrial technology and professional instrumentation solutions, is also benefiting from its expanding footprint in the cloud computing space. Fortive’s frequent product launches and synergies from strategic acquisitions are likely to drive its financial performance, going ahead.

The stock has gained 30.4% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Fortive’s 2024 earnings has been revised 3.6% upward over the past 60 days to $3.78 per share.

Itron: This Liberty Lake, WA-based entity is gaining from rising trends in electrification, gas safety, energy transition, grid edge digitalization and water efficiency. Further, increasing demand for smart water meters and communication modules is contributing well. Strength in distributed energy resource management is a plus. Solid factory output enabled by improved component supply is another positive.

The Zacks Rank #2 player, one of the leading global suppliers of a wide range of standard, advanced and smart meters and meter communication systems, including networks and communication modules, software, devices, sensors, data analytics, and services, is experiencing strong growth in recurring and one-time service revenues. Further, Itron’s growing efforts toward expanding product lines that aid the utilities in meeting decarbonization and sustainability goals are positive.

Shares of Itron have gained 73.1% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2024 earnings has been revised 15% upward in the past 60 days to $3.61 per share.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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