April 23, 2012 at 09:25 AM EDT
A. O. Smith’s Target, Estimates Boosted at Jefferies (AOS)

Water heater maker A. O. Smith Corporation (AOS) on Monday caught some further bullish commentary from analysts at Jefferies & Co.

The firm maintained its “Buy” rating on AOS and lifted its price target from $49 to $54. That new target suggests a 14% upside to the stock’s Friday closing price of $47.18.

A Jefferies analyst commented, “1Q12 EPS were +23% YOY and above expectations. But earnings were slightly below our forecast at the op income line, offset by favorable non-op items. The conference call was, however, more positive on NA resi sales and the outlook for China better than we expected. We are raising our estimates and PT and reiterate Buy. AOS remains one of our top picks.”

A. O. Smith, which posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings and raised its outlook last week, saw its shares trading mostly flat in premarket trading Monday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of A.O. Smith (AOS) have a 1.36% dividend yield, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $47.18. The stock has technical support in the $41-$42 price area. The shares are trading at all-time highs.

A. O. Smith Corporation (AOS) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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