Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC) saw a significant increase in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 732,300 shares, an increase of 32.4% from the May 30th total of 553,000 shares. Currently, 3.2% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 131,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.6 days.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Home Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.33.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Stewart Information Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $127,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Stewart Information Services by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,486,404 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $144,339,000 after purchasing an additional 145,621 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in Stewart Information Services by 2.5% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 23,542 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,034,000 after purchasing an additional 578 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in Stewart Information Services by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 29,910 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,142,000 after purchasing an additional 1,997 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan acquired a new position in Stewart Information Services during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $284,000. Institutional investors own 88.32% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE STC traded up $0.48 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $40.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 229,829 shares, compared to its average volume of 120,350. The company has a current ratio of 3.81, a quick ratio of 3.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. Stewart Information Services has a fifty-two week low of $39.37 and a fifty-two week high of $45.75. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $41.10. The firm has a market cap of $950.37 million, a P/E ratio of 19.00 and a beta of 0.59.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The insurance provider reported ($0.06) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.05 by ($0.11). Stewart Information Services had a net margin of 2.38% and a return on equity of 7.41%. The business had revenue of $398.52 million during the quarter. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Stewart Information Services will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th were given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.99%. Stewart Information Services’s payout ratio is 55.56%.

About Stewart Information Services

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property.

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