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Actuant (ATU) Hit by Tepid Energy Market, Currency Headwinds

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On Jul 14, we issued an updated research report on Actuant Corporation (ATU - Free Report) .

Over the last three months, shares of this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock lost 2.79%, as against 10.25% growth recorded by the Zacks categorized Machine-Tools & Related Products industry.

Existing Issues

Challenging conditions lingering in the global energy market have been hurting Actuant’s top- and bottom-line performances. In third-quarter fiscal 2017, its Energy segment’s revenues dipped 17.6% year over year. Lower sales recorded by the Hydratight business (due to increasing delays in project scopes and start dates), compounded losses of off-shore well development and upstream exploration businesses stemmed the year-over-year downside.

The company believes that further decline in oil prices would defer and weigh over investments made in the energy market, thus continuing to hurt its results in the near term. Primarily, on grounds of tepid energy market conditions, Actuant trimmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2017 to the 82–87 cents per share range from the previous projection of $1.10–$1.20 per share.

Moreover, foreign business exposure makes the company highly vulnerable to economic and geopolitical risks. Actuant predicts that a stronger U.S. dollar would dent its top-line performance in the near term.

Furthermore, we believe that other headwinds such as stiff industry rivalry or input price inflation might depress the company’s near-term results.

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock moved south for both fiscal 2017 and 2018, reflecting bearish market sentiments.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are listed below:

Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (APOG - Free Report) has an average positive earnings surprise of 3.42% for the last four quarters and currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Deere & Company (DE - Free Report) also sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has an average positive earnings surprise of 70.41% for the past four quarters.

AGCO Corporation (AGCO - Free Report) boasts a Zacks Rank #1 at present and has an average positive earnings surprise of 40.39% for the trailing four quarters.

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