Short Interest in A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) Drops By 9.8%

A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) saw a large decline in short interest in September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,780,000 shares, a decline of 9.8% from the August 15th total of 8,630,000 shares. Approximately 5.8% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,800,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.3 days.

Several research analysts have commented on AOS shares. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on shares of A. O. Smith in a report on Wednesday, July 10th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. TheStreet upgraded shares of A. O. Smith from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of A. O. Smith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of A. O. Smith from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, June 26th. Finally, DA Davidson lowered their price target on shares of A. O. Smith to $58.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.25.

In other A. O. Smith news, Chairman Ajita G. Rajendra sold 16,556 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.47, for a total transaction of $819,025.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 78,163 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,866,723.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Helen E. Gurholt sold 1,263 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.82, for a total transaction of $57,870.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.03% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AOS. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings in shares of A. O. Smith by 252.0% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 358,458 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $19,113,000 after buying an additional 256,625 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its position in A. O. Smith by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 42,493 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,265,000 after purchasing an additional 1,398 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in A. O. Smith by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 10,522 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $561,000 after purchasing an additional 531 shares during the last quarter. Commerce Bank purchased a new stake in A. O. Smith in the 1st quarter valued at $233,000. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in A. O. Smith by 55.9% in the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 90,218 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,799,000 after purchasing an additional 32,355 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.21% of the company’s stock.

Shares of A. O. Smith stock traded up $0.29 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $47.95. The company had a trading volume of 410,223 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,259,710. The company’s 50-day moving average is $46.99 and its two-hundred day moving average is $48.05. A. O. Smith has a twelve month low of $40.34 and a twelve month high of $56.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 2.19 and a quick ratio of 1.74. The company has a market cap of $7.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.53.

A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The industrial products company reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.03). A. O. Smith had a net margin of 13.71% and a return on equity of 24.31%. The company had revenue of $765.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $812.29 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.61 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that A. O. Smith will post 2.38 EPS for the current year.

A. O. Smith declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Monday, June 3rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the industrial products company to buy up to 4.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

About A. O. Smith

A. O. Smith Corporation manufactures and markets residential and commercial gas and electric water heaters, boilers, tanks, and water treatment products in North America, China, Europe, and India. It operates through two segments, North America and Rest of World. The company offers water heaters for residences, restaurants, hotels and motels, office buildings, laundries, car washes, and small businesses; residential and commercial boilers for space heating applications in hospitals, schools, hotels, and other 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 filtration products for residences, restaurants, hotels, and offices.

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