Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders bought 8,079 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,327% compared to the average volume of 566 put options.

Shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE KSU) opened at $110.40 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. The company has a market cap of $11,430.00, a P/E ratio of 21.69, a P/E/G ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.87. Kansas City Southern has a 1-year low of $81.54 and a 1-year high of $114.85.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 20th. The transportation company reported $1.35 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $653.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $651.95 million. Kansas City Southern had a net margin of 21.42% and a return on equity of 11.86%. Kansas City Southern’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.12 EPS. analysts expect that Kansas City Southern will post 5.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.30%. Kansas City Southern’s payout ratio is 28.29%.

Several equities analysts have commented on KSU shares. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $118.00 target price on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kansas City Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $88.00 target price (down previously from $93.00) on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $123.00 price target (up previously from $116.00) on shares of Kansas City Southern in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Bank of America raised shares of Kansas City Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $113.00 to $116.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Kansas City Southern presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $113.18.

In other Kansas City Southern news, COO Jeffrey M. Songer sold 3,000 shares of Kansas City Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.80, for a total transaction of $335,400.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Mary K. Stadler sold 1,973 shares of Kansas City Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.91, for a total transaction of $205,014.43. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,102 shares in the company, valued at approximately $634,058.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of KSU. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 8.2% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 355,972 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $37,253,000 after acquiring an additional 27,070 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Kansas City Southern during the 2nd quarter valued at $266,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 7,975 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $835,000 after acquiring an additional 64 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 29,264 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,999,000 after acquiring an additional 699 shares during the period. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. bought a new stake in Kansas City Southern during the 2nd quarter valued at $621,000. 83.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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