Stewart Information Services Co. (NYSE:STC) Sees Strong Short-Term Interest Growth


Stewart Information Services Co. (NYSE: STC – Get Rating) was the target of significant short-term interest growth during the month of March. As of March 31, there was short interest totaling 724,500 shares, a growth of 22.0% from the March 15 total of 593,800 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume of 171,400 shares, the short-term interest rate ratio is currently 4.2 days. Approximately 2.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Separately, director C Allen Bradley, Jr. bought 1,000 shares in a trade on Wednesday, March 16. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $66.54 per share, for a total transaction of $66,540.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available on the SEC’s website. 1.35% of the shares are currently held by insiders.

Large investors have recently changed their positions in the stock. UMB Bank NA MO acquired a new stake in Stewart Information Services during Q4 for a value of approximately $39,000. First Horizon Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 204.6% during the 4th quarter. First Horizon Advisors Inc. now owns 661 shares of the insurance provider worth $52,000 after buying an additional 444 shares in the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments LP acquired a new stake in Stewart Information Services during the 4th quarter for a value of approximately $96,000. Heritage Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 25.7% during the third quarter. Heritage Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,767 shares of the insurance provider worth $112,000 after buying 361 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 16.8% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,798 shares of the insurance provider worth $143,000 after buying 259 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.39% of the company’s shares.

Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research moved shares of Stewart Information Services from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a price target of $76.00 for the company in a Tuesday, March 8 report. BTIG Research cut its price target on shares of Stewart Information Services from $99.00 to $89.00 in a Tuesday, April 12 research report. Finally, StockNews.com began covering Stewart Information Services stocks in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They set a “buy” rating on the stock.

Shares of Stewart Information Services rose $0.52 on Tuesday, hitting $53.32. The stock recorded trading volume of 151,753 shares, compared to an average trading volume of 171,101 shares. Stewart Information Services has a fifty-two week minimum of $51.57 and a fifty-two week maximum of $81.00. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $63.76. The company has a market capitalization of $1.43 billion, a PE ratio of 4.48 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a current ratio of 2.18, a quick ratio of 2.18 and a debt ratio of 0.37.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE: STC – Get Rating) last released its results on Wednesday, February 9. The insurance provider reported earnings per share of $2.94 for the quarter. The company had revenue of $961.67 million for the quarter. Stewart Information Services achieved a net margin of 9.78% and a return on equity of 25.96%. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $2.09. On average, sell-side analysts expect Stewart Information Services to post earnings per share of 8.89 for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 15 received a dividend of $0.375 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 14. This represents a dividend of $1.50 on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.81%. Stewart Information Services’ payout ratio is currently 12.62%.

About Stewart Information Services (Get a rating)

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The Company operates in two segments, Title, Ancillary Services and Enterprises. The Title segment is involved in the search, examination, closing and status assurance of real estate title.

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