A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, A.O. Smith has underperformed the industry and is also overvalued comparatively. Based on weaker-than-expected water heater sales in the United States and China, the company lowered guidance for 2018. Also, it anticipates a slowdown in housing sales and international trade issues to hamper sales growth in China. Based on its recent shipment, it currently expects 2018 commercial water heater industry volumes to decline year over year. Also, increasing steel costs and unfavorable movements in foreign currencies are concerning. Further, given the company's extensive geographic presence, its financial performance is subject to various risks like foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, interest rates and hyperinflation in foreign countries.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Boenning Scattergood restated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Oppenheimer restated a “hold” rating on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reduced their price objective on shares of A. O. Smith from $68.00 to $58.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $65.75.

Shares of NYSE:AOS opened at $45.71 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 2.16 and a quick ratio of 1.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.06, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.45. A. O. Smith has a 52 week low of $40.34 and a 52 week high of $68.39.

A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The industrial products company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $754.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $805.92 million. A. O. Smith had a net margin of 10.83% and a return on equity of 24.98%. A. O. Smith’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.54 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that A. O. Smith will post 2.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Paul W. Jones sold 4,591 shares of A. O. Smith stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.92, for a total transaction of $270,501.72. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 214,558 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,641,757.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.28% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in shares of A. O. Smith by 5.1% during the 3rd quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 826,138 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $44,091,000 after acquiring an additional 40,108 shares during the period. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of A. O. Smith by 65.5% during the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 85,475 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,562,000 after acquiring an additional 33,821 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of A. O. Smith by 25.4% during the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 274,200 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $14,634,000 after acquiring an additional 55,500 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of A. O. Smith by 28.1% during the 3rd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 64,485 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,442,000 after acquiring an additional 14,129 shares during the period. Finally, Kingfisher Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of A. O. Smith during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,048,000. Institutional investors own 75.13% of the company’s stock.

A. O. Smith Company Profile

A. O. Smith Corporation manufactures and markets residential and commercial gas and electric water heaters, boilers, and water treatment products in North America, China, Europe, and India. The company offers water heaters for residences, restaurants, hotels and motels, office buildings, laundries, car washes, and small businesses; residential and commercial boilers for use in space heating applications for hospitals, schools, hotels, and other large commercial buildings; and water treatment products, including on-the-go filtration bottles, point-of-use carbon and reverse osmosis products, point-of-entry water softeners, and whole-home water filtrations products for residences, restaurants, hotels, and offices.

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