Kansas City Southern (KSU) Upgraded by Bank of America Corporation to Buy

Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $116.00 price target on the transportation company’s stock, up from their prior price target of $113.00.

Several other research firms have also weighed in on KSU. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and set a $88.00 price objective (down from $93.00) on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Kansas City Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $122.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and set a $118.00 price objective on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Citigroup Inc. reissued a buy rating and set a $123.00 price objective (up from $116.00) on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Kansas City Southern from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $107.80.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) traded up 0.28% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $105.08. The stock had a trading volume of 90,808 shares. The stock has a market cap of $11.08 billion, a PE ratio of 21.14 and a beta of 0.81. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $105.79 and its 200-day moving average price is $99.15. Kansas City Southern has a 1-year low of $79.05 and a 1-year high of $109.13.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 21st. The transportation company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $656.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $627.81 million. Kansas City Southern had a return on equity of 11.40% and a net margin of 21.52%. The company’s revenue was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.22 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Kansas City Southern will post $5.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 11th were issued a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 8th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. This is a positive change from Kansas City Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. Kansas City Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.92%.

Kansas City Southern announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 15th that allows the company to repurchase $800.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the transportation company to buy up to 7.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider Delano Jose Guillermo Zozaya sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $102.93, for a total value of $617,580.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 42,087 shares in the company, valued at $4,332,014.91. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mary K. Stadler sold 4,451 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.87, for a total value of $471,227.37. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $933,138.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 14,469 shares of company stock valued at $1,522,510 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.95% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. QS Investors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Kansas City Southern by 0.5% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 1,320 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $138,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA purchased a new stake in shares of Kansas City Southern in the second quarter valued at $160,000. V Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Kansas City Southern in the second quarter valued at $169,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kansas City Southern by 3.1% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 2,202 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $189,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kansas City Southern by 2.4% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,250 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $194,000 after purchasing an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.59% of the company’s stock.

About Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern (KCS) is a holding company. The Company has domestic and international rail operations in North America that are focused on the north/south freight corridor connecting commercial and industrial markets in the central United States with industrial cities in Mexico. The Company’s subsidiaries include The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) and Kansas City Southern de Mexico, SA de C.V.

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