investing

The Best Stock in Wisconsin: Rockwell Automation

We analyzed publicly traded companies based in the Badger State to identify the best stock in Wisconsin to buy now.

We scoured the nation to identify the best stock in every state. Rockwell Automation (symbol ROK) is the publicly traded company we picked in Wisconsin. The company headquarters is located in Milwaukee.

A word of caution: Since we selected a single stock from each state (plus one from D.C), and choices in some states are sparse, a few of our picks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not necessarily one of our 51 favorite stocks in the entire U.S., in other words.

Rockwell Automation by the Numbers

  • Headquarters: Milwaukee
  • Share price: $160.53
  • Market value: $20.7 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 23

(Prices and data are as of June 22, 2017)

Rockwell manufactures and develops software and equipment that companies use to automate their factories. The company is a leader in the “Internet of Things” – its ethernet-enabled Logix system provides data collection, monitoring and analytics from the factory floor to managers accessing the system online. The system can enable both discrete manufacturing (which creates many duplicate products -- on an assembly line, for instance) and process manufacturing (which produces large batches based on formulations or recipes). “As factory operators seek to cut costs and drive operating efficiency, the two methods increasingly overlap,” says Morningstar analyst Barbara Noverini.

That’s a sweet spot for Rockwell in a traditionally bifurcated industry. CFRA analyst Joe Agnese expects improving demand for Rockwell’s products and services in 2017, particularly from manufacturers in the consumer products and automotive industries. His 12-month price target of $179 represents a 12% increase over the current share price. What’s more, after a 6% bump in March, the company has now hiked its annual payout for eight straight years. The stock currently yields 1.9%.

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