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Rockwell Automation (ROK) Buys Odos Imaging to Fortify CE

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Rockwell Automation Inc. (ROK - Free Report) recently acquired Odos Imaging, a Scottish technology company, in order to build a smart sensing and safety products portfolio. Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, Odos Imaging provides three-dimensional, time-of-flight sensing systems for industrial imaging applications. Rockwell Automation will apply Odos Imaging’s 3-D technologies to its sensing products which will serve industrial applications in the spaces, including automotive and general assembly, packaging and material handling, and logistics.

The Odos Imaging buyout will assist Rockwell Automation’s efforts to provide the Connected Enterprise (CE) solutions to clients. The CE exhibits the company’s endeavor to integrate control and information across the enterprise to help industrial companies and people to be more productive.

Acquisitions to Drive Growth

Rockwell Automation has been active on the acquisition front, lately. The company made three acquisitions during fiscal 2016. In September 2016, it acquired Automation Control Products to help customers enhance global competitiveness through CE. The company’s acquisition of MagneMotion adds to its portfolio of innovative motion control solutions for consumer and transportation verticals. Finally, the acquisition of MAVERICK Technologies adds expertise in chemical, consumer, life sciences, along with oil and gas industry applications.

CE Remains a Catalyst

The company’s CE integrated supply-chain management system is anticipated to be a catalyst. The company is increasing the number of industries, applications and geographies, as well as improving investments to expand the value of CE. With average profitability well above the corporate average, CE sales are expected to be an integral part of Rockwell Automation’s incremental growth and boost margins over the next few years.

Share Price Performance

Rockwell Automation's shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. The company’s shares have surged 39.9%, while the industry recorded 36.6% growth.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Rockwell Automation carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) , Fanuc Corp. (FANUY - Free Report) and Avery Dennison Corporation (AVY - Free Report) . Caterpillar flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), while Fanuc and Avery Dennison carry a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Caterpillar has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10.3%. Its shares have been up 52.6%, year to date.

Fanuc has a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.8%. So far this year, its shares have gained 50.8%.

Avery Dennison has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company’s shares have rallied 60.4% during the same time frame.

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