Jefferies Group LLC reissued their buy rating on shares of Smith (A.O.) Corporation (NYSE:AOS) in a research note released on Friday, July 14th.

AOS has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Smith (A.O.) Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $57.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 13th. KeyCorp reiterated a sector weight rating on shares of Smith (A.O.) Corporation in a research note on Friday, April 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $66.80.

Shares of Smith (NYSE AOS) opened at 54.40 on Friday. Smith has a one year low of $43.66 and a one year high of $57.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.61 and a beta of 1.51. The company’s 50 day moving average is $56.14 and its 200-day moving average is $52.78.

Smith (A.O.) Corporation (NYSE:AOS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The industrial products company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53. Smith (A.O.) Corporation had a return on equity of 22.25% and a net margin of 12.10%. The company had revenue of $738.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $729.33 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. Smith (A.O.) Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Smith will post $2.11 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. Smith (A.O.) Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.43%.

In related news, Director Ronald D. Brown sold 8,000 shares of Smith (A.O.) Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.25, for a total transaction of $434,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 43,896 shares in the company, valued at $2,381,358. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider John J. Kita sold 12,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.32, for a total value of $687,104.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 85,067 shares in the company, valued at $4,790,973.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 105,400 shares of company stock valued at $5,734,444. 1.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AOS. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Smith (A.O.) Corporation by 97.0% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 686,638 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $32,514,000 after buying an additional 338,077 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its stake in shares of Smith (A.O.) Corporation by 118.8% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 25,290 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,197,000 after buying an additional 13,730 shares in the last quarter. Quadrature Capital Ltd bought a new position in Smith (A.O.) Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $744,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in Smith (A.O.) Corporation by 94.5% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 399,201 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $18,903,000 after buying an additional 193,923 shares during the period. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Smith (A.O.) Corporation by 509.7% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 485,709 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $22,998,000 after buying an additional 406,045 shares during the period. 74.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Smith (A.O.) Corporation

A. O. Smith Corporation operates through two segments: North America and Rest of World. The Company’s Rest of World segment primarily consists of China, Europe and India. Both segments manufacture and market comprehensive lines of residential and commercial gas, gas tankless and electric water heaters, as well as water treatment products.

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