A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

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A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) saw a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,176,000 shares, an increase of 41.1% from the April 30th total of 5,796,400 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,810,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.5 days. Approximately 5.8% of the shares of the company are short sold.

NYSE:AOS traded down $0.03 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $45.50. 66,532 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,186,474. A. O. Smith has a twelve month low of $40.34 and a twelve month high of $63.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.50. The company has a quick ratio of 1.82, a current ratio of 2.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $46.89.

A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The industrial products company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by ($0.04). A. O. Smith had a net margin of 13.81% and a return on equity of 25.01%. The company had revenue of $748.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $764.16 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that A. O. Smith will post 2.69 earnings per share for the current year.

A. O. Smith declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, June 3rd that authorizes the company to buyback $300.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the industrial products company to reacquire up to 4.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Ronald D. Brown sold 8,000 shares of A. O. Smith stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.45, for a total value of $419,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 35,896 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,882,745.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Paul W. Jones sold 1,000 shares of A. O. Smith stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total value of $49,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 182,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,022,167. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 18,010 shares of company stock valued at $944,468. Insiders own 1.03% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bremer Bank National Association acquired a new position in A. O. Smith during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Huntington National Bank raised its stake in A. O. Smith by 82.2% during the 1st quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 512 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Signaturefd LLC raised its stake in A. O. Smith by 67.6% during the 1st quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 538 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $29,000 after acquiring an additional 217 shares in the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in A. O. Smith during the 1st quarter valued at $29,000. Finally, Bremer Trust National Association bought a new stake in A. O. Smith during the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.08% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded A. O. Smith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. ValuEngine upgraded A. O. Smith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on A. O. Smith from $56.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. Boenning Scattergood lowered A. O. Smith from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $52.98 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, KeyCorp lifted their target price on A. O. Smith from $53.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.55.

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A. O. Smith Company Profile

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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