Home Service company Stewart Information Services Co. (NYSE:STC) Short Interest Up 48.9% in December

Stewart Information Services Co. (NYSE:STC) Short Interest Up 48.9% in December

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Stewart Information Services Co. (NYSE: STC) benefited from significant growth in short-term interest in December. As of December 31, there were short interests totaling 581,400 shares, a growth of 48.9% from the total of 390,400 shares as of December 15. Based on an average daily trading volume of 153,600 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 3.8 days. Approximately 2.2% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of NYSE STC were down $0.76 at midday Monday, hitting $77.67. 150,099 shares of the company have been traded, against an average volume of 139,330. The company has a market capitalization of $2.09 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 7.07 and a beta of 1.09. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $76.84. Stewart Information Services has a 12 month minimum of $45.58 and a 12 month maximum of $81.00. The company has a current ratio of 3.64, a quick ratio of 3.64 and a debt ratio of 0.23.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 26. The insurance provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $3.17 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $2.42 by $0.75. Stewart Information Services achieved a return on equity of 25.43% and a net margin of 9.65%. The company had revenue of $836.73 million in the quarter. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $2.21. Stock analysts expect Stewart Information Services to post earnings per share of 10.15 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 31. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 15 received a dividend of $1.50. This represents a dividend of $6.00 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 7.72%. This is a boost from Stewart Information Services’ previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 14. Stewart Information Services’ payout ratio is currently 13.65%.

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Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Stewart Information Services from a “buy” to a “hold” rating in a Tuesday, October 5 report.

In other Stewart Information Services news, Director Matthew Morris sold 1,060 shares of Stewart Information Services in a trade on Thursday, November 18. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total transaction of $82,680.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, accessible via this link. Insiders sold 6,507 shares of the company worth $511,660 during the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.35% of the company’s shares.

Several institutional investors have recently increased or reduced their stake in STC. AltraVue Capital LLC increased its equity stake in Stewart Information Services by 18.5% in the second quarter. AltraVue Capital LLC now owns 12,809 shares of the insurance provider valued at $726,000 after buying an additional 1,999 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings of Stewart Information Services shares by 4.5% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,980 shares of the insurance provider valued at $1,359,000 after buying an additional 1,022 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its holdings of Stewart Information Services stock by 60.6% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 25,249 shares of the insurance provider valued at $1,437,000 after buying 9,523 additional shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. increased its stake in Stewart Information Services shares to 80.1% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 27,942 shares of the insurance provider valued at $1,584,000 after buying 12,427 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Stewart Information Services shares by 25.5% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 34,191 shares of the insurance provider valued at $1,938,000 after buying an additional 6,950 shares in the last quarter. 90.80% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Stewart Information Services

Stewart Information Services Corp. is a real estate services company that provides title insurance and settlement services. It operates through the Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary and Corporate Services segments. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment includes the search, examination, closing and status assurance of real estate title.

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