Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) Short Interest Up 24.2% in September

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 36,470,000 shares, a growth of 24.2% from the August 30th total of 29,370,000 shares. Approximately 4.2% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 13,890,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.6 days.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Halliburton from $33.00 to $27.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Bank of America reduced their price target on shares of Halliburton from $24.00 to $23.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 5th. Stephens reduced their price target on shares of Halliburton from $45.00 to $35.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $26.00 price target on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Halliburton from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 24th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $35.67.

Shares of Halliburton stock traded up $0.52 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $18.95. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,690,450 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,718,384. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $19.15 and a 200-day moving average price of $23.20. Halliburton has a one year low of $16.97 and a one year high of $40.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 2.26 and a quick ratio of 1.59. The stock has a market cap of $16.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.97, a P/E/G ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 1.37.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last posted its earnings results on Monday, July 22nd. The oilfield services company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.30 by $0.05. Halliburton had a net margin of 5.58% and a return on equity of 13.76%. The firm had revenue of $5.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.97 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.58 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Halliburton will post 1.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 25th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 4th were issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 3rd. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.80%. Halliburton’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.89%.

In other news, Director William E. Albrecht acquired 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 12th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $19.35 per share, for a total transaction of $154,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $309,600. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.61% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HAL. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Halliburton by 903.2% during the 2nd quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,254 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $29,000 after purchasing an additional 1,129 shares during the period. Meridian Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Halliburton during the 2nd quarter worth about $32,000. Prestige Wealth Management Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Halliburton during the 2nd quarter worth about $34,000. Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Halliburton during the 2nd quarter worth about $45,000. Finally, Dougherty Wealth Advisers LLC purchased a new position in shares of Halliburton during the 2nd quarter worth about $45,000. 77.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Halliburton

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products to oil and natural gas companies worldwide. The company's Completion and Production segment offers production enhancement services, including stimulation and sand control services; and cementing services, such as bonding the well, well casing, and casing equipment.

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