Smith (A.O.) (NYSE:AOS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $72.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.52% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, A.O. Smith’s stock has outperformed the industry average. The company also has an impressive earnings surprise history, having beaten estimates thrice over the four trailing quarters. A flourishing water heater industry, robust consumer product demand in China and positive industry trends are likely to drive top-line growth, going forward. Hague products and Aquasana have also significantly boosted the company’s sales. Also, a dominant foothold in the North American water heater market, driven by new construction and expansion of replacement demand, is likely to stoke growth. However, over the past few quarters, the company’s SG&A expenses in China (including elevated steel costs and higher fees paid to installers) have been quite high, which is creating pressure on the company’s operating margins.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Boenning Scattergood upgraded Smith (A.O.) from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Smith (A.O.) in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on shares of Smith (A.O.) in a research note on Friday, January 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Smith (A.O.) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 4th. Finally, Goldman Sachs upgraded Smith (A.O.) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $68.00.
Smith (A.O.) (NYSE:AOS) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The industrial products company reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.04. Smith (A.O.) had a return on equity of 23.30% and a net margin of 9.89%. The firm had revenue of $768.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $767.45 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Smith will post 2.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, Director Mark D. Smith sold 2,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.73, for a total value of $163,098.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 109,609 shares in the company, valued at $6,875,772.57. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director William P. Greubel sold 17,856 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.50, for a total value of $1,187,424.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 110,635 shares of company stock valued at $7,149,622 over the last quarter. 1.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its holdings in Smith (A.O.) by 70.4% in the fourth quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,784 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $171,000 after purchasing an additional 1,150 shares during the period. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Smith (A.O.) in the fourth quarter valued at $203,000. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI acquired a new stake in Smith (A.O.) in the fourth quarter valued at $210,000. Brookmont Capital Management acquired a new stake in Smith (A.O.) in the fourth quarter valued at $224,000. Finally, Wellington Shields Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Smith (A.O.) in the fourth quarter valued at $245,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.86% of the company’s stock.
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Smith (A.O.) 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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