Investors Buy High Volume of Put Options on A. O. Smith (AOS)

A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 8,394 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 2,997% compared to the average daily volume of 271 put options.

Shares of AOS traded down $1.48 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $43.64. 275,739 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,327,397. A. O. Smith has a fifty-two week low of $40.34 and a fifty-two week high of $65.57. 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 stock has a market cap of $8.18 billion, a PE ratio of 16.71, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.35.

A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The industrial products company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by ($0.04). A. O. Smith had a return on equity of 25.01% and a net margin of 13.81%. The firm had revenue of $748.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $764.16 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.60 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts anticipate that A. O. Smith will post 2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th were given a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, April 29th. A. O. Smith’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.72%.

In other A. O. Smith news, VP Paul R. Dana sold 9,010 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.76, for a total value of $475,367.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 14,912 shares in the company, valued at approximately $786,757.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Ronald D. Brown sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.45, for a total transaction of $419,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 35,896 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,882,745.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 18,010 shares of company stock valued at $944,468. Corporate insiders own 1.03% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in A. O. Smith by 37.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 473,359 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $25,263,000 after purchasing an additional 128,627 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its holdings in A. O. Smith by 1.1% in the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 493,675 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $26,347,000 after purchasing an additional 5,304 shares during the period. Standard Life Aberdeen plc grew its holdings in A. O. Smith by 16.9% in the third quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 40,455 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,160,000 after purchasing an additional 5,859 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in A. O. Smith by 9.2% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 279,504 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $14,917,000 after purchasing an additional 23,553 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in A. O. Smith by 24.3% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,323,398 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $230,740,000 after purchasing an additional 845,117 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.29% of the company’s stock.

AOS has been the subject of several recent research reports. Boenning Scattergood restated a “buy” rating on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Oppenheimer restated a “hold” rating on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of A. O. Smith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of A. O. Smith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut shares of A. O. Smith from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.12.

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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.

See Also: Producer Price Index (PPI)

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