Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Kansas City Southern (KSU)

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) saw unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors bought 9,234 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,543% compared to the average daily volume of 562 call options.

Shares of NYSE KSU opened at $108.48 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $11,501.81, a P/E ratio of 20.66, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Kansas City Southern has a 52-week low of $86.14 and a 52-week high of $114.85.

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Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 19th. The transportation company reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.02. Kansas City Southern had a net margin of 37.24% and a return on equity of 12.07%. The firm had revenue of $660.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $658.33 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.21 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Kansas City Southern will post 6.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 4th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 12th were paid a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 9th. Kansas City Southern’s payout ratio is currently 27.43%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on KSU. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Kansas City Southern from $102.00 to $104.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Kansas City Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Seaport Global Securities restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Kansas City Southern in a report on Friday, March 23rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and set a $121.00 price objective (down previously from $126.00) on shares of Kansas City Southern in a report on Thursday, March 8th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $115.67.

In other Kansas City Southern news, Director Henry J. Maier purchased 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The stock was bought at an average price of $104.35 per share, for a total transaction of $104,350.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,159 shares in the company, valued at $538,341.65. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CMO Brian D. Hancock sold 2,325 shares of Kansas City Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.00, for a total transaction of $262,725.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 19,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,198,415. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its stake in Kansas City Southern by 10.5% in the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 13,923 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,465,000 after buying an additional 1,319 shares in the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its stake in Kansas City Southern by 86.8% in the fourth quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 109,879 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $11,561,000 after buying an additional 51,061 shares in the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new position in Kansas City Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $780,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its stake in Kansas City Southern by 50.0% in the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 6,300 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $663,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Halsey Associates Inc. CT lifted its stake in Kansas City Southern by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Halsey Associates Inc. CT now owns 74,760 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $7,866,000 after buying an additional 3,135 shares in the last quarter. 88.02% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern, through its subsidiaries, provides domestic and international rail transportation services in North America. It serves a ten-state region in the midwest and southeast regions of the United States and has the shortest north/south rail route between Kansas City, Missouri, and ports along the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

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