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

A. O. Smith Corp (NYSE:AOS) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Monday. Investors bought 563 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,004% compared to the typical daily volume of 51 put options.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on AOS shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded A. O. Smith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of A. O. Smith in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.71.

AOS opened at $58.12 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a current ratio of 2.15. A. O. Smith has a 1 year low of $56.30 and a 1 year high of $68.39. The company has a market cap of $10.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.44.

A. O. Smith (NYSE:AOS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.04. A. O. Smith had a return on equity of 24.67% and a net margin of 10.50%. The business had revenue of $833.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $811.72 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.53 EPS. A. O. Smith’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that A. O. Smith will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Paul W. Jones sold 4,591 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.92, for a total transaction of $270,501.72. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 214,558 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,641,757.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.28% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in A. O. Smith by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 904,122 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $53,479,000 after acquiring an additional 51,716 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in A. O. Smith by 531.8% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,478,281 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $205,741,000 after buying an additional 2,927,749 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank lifted its holdings in A. O. Smith by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 482,400 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $28,534,000 after buying an additional 14,700 shares during the period. Putnam Investments LLC lifted its holdings in A. O. Smith by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 886,851 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $52,457,000 after buying an additional 43,497 shares during the period. Finally, KBC Group NV lifted its holdings in A. O. Smith by 22.0% in the 2nd quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 402,510 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $23,808,000 after buying an additional 72,622 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.99% of the company’s stock.

About A. O. Smith

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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