Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 2,810,750 shares, a growth of 35.5% from the December 15th total of 2,073,608 shares. Approximately 2.7% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 913,031 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.1 days.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on KSU shares. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of Kansas City Southern from $122.00 to $124.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Kansas City Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research note on Monday, November 13th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $109.00 price objective for the company. Bank of America raised shares of Kansas City Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $113.00 to $116.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $109.00 price objective on shares of Kansas City Southern in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $113.18.

Shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE KSU) opened at $110.81 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. Kansas City Southern has a 12-month low of $81.54 and a 12-month high of $114.85. The firm has a market cap of $11,470.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.77, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.87.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 20th. The transportation company reported $1.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by $0.03. Kansas City Southern had a net margin of 21.42% and a return on equity of 11.86%. The firm had revenue of $653.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $651.95 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Kansas City Southern will post 5.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 17th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th were given a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.30%. Kansas City Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.29%.

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

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in KSU. QS Investors LLC lifted its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 1,320 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. lifted its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 4,277 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $447,000 after buying an additional 51 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 7,524 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $787,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 4,363 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $457,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Veritable L.P. lifted its holdings in Kansas City Southern by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 2,854 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $299,000 after buying an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. 83.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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