A.O. Smith Corp. (NYSE:AOS) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twelve research firms that are currently covering the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $54.00.

AOS has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of A.O. Smith Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.50 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, July 28th. BMO Capital Markets set a $53.00 price objective on shares of A.O. Smith Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Jefferies Group decreased their price objective on shares of A.O. Smith Corp. from $55.50 to $43.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $107.00 price objective on shares of A.O. Smith Corp. in a report on Thursday, October 6th.

In related news, SVP Charles T. Lauber sold 2,473 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.12, for a total transaction of $119,000.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP James F. Stern sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.69, for a total transaction of $953,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 85,267 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,066,383.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of A.O. Smith Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $106,000. Nordea Investment Management AB bought a new stake in shares of A.O. Smith Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $150,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of A.O. Smith Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $150,000. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. bought a new stake in shares of A.O. Smith Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $150,000. Finally, Timber Hill LLC bought a new stake in shares of A.O. Smith Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $201,000. 38.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of A.O. Smith Corp. (NYSE:AOS) opened at 47.07 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $47.95 and its 200-day moving average is $44.97. The company has a market cap of $8.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.71 and a beta of 1.40. A.O. Smith Corp. has a one year low of $30.15 and a one year high of $51.49.

A.O. Smith Corp. (NYSE:AOS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.02. A.O. Smith Corp. had a net margin of 12.32% and a return on equity of 21.84%. The business earned $683.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $577.20 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.41 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that A.O. Smith Corp. will post $1.83 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Monday, October 31st were paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 27th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.02%. A.O. Smith Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.30%.

About A.O. Smith Corp.

A. O. Smith Corporation operates its business through two segments, which include North America and Rest of World. The Company’s Rest of World segment primarily comprises China, Europe and India. The Rest of World segment supplies water heaters to the residential market in China with a range of product offering, including electric, gas, gas tankless, heat pump and solar units, as well as combi boilers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AOS

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