RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE:RLJ) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in April. As of April 28th, there was short interest totalling 5,690,515 shares, an increase of 70.9% from the April 13th total of 3,328,937 shares. Currently, 4.7% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,279,598 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.5 days.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its position in RLJ Lodging Trust by 385.1% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,657 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 3,697 shares in the last quarter. Kemper Corp Master Retirement Trust boosted its stake in shares of RLJ Lodging Trust by 1.3% in the third quarter. Kemper Corp Master Retirement Trust now owns 6,000 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of RLJ Lodging Trust during the first quarter worth approximately $144,000. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its stake in shares of RLJ Lodging Trust by 8.0% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 8,332 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $196,000 after buying an additional 615 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baird Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of RLJ Lodging Trust during the fourth quarter worth approximately $224,000. 99.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE RLJ) traded down 0.09% on Tuesday, reaching $21.42. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 549,681 shares. The firm has a market cap of $2.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.56 and a beta of 1.14. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $20.74 and its 200-day moving average is $22.77. RLJ Lodging Trust has a 12 month low of $18.92 and a 12 month high of $25.10.

RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE:RLJ) last released its earnings results on Monday, May 8th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. RLJ Lodging Trust had a net margin of 17.19% and a return on equity of 8.95%. The firm had revenue of $260.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $263.57 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.57 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that RLJ Lodging Trust will post $1.09 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be given a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. RLJ Lodging Trust’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.54%.

RLJ has been the topic of several recent research reports. Boenning Scattergood reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of RLJ Lodging Trust in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. ValuEngine upgraded RLJ Lodging Trust from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, May 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded RLJ Lodging Trust from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, February 25th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target (up previously from $26.00) on shares of RLJ Lodging Trust in a report on Monday, June 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. RLJ Lodging Trust has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.17.

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RLJ Lodging Trust Company Profile

RLJ Lodging Trust is a self-administered real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged in the acquisition of focused-service and compact full-service hotels. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned 122 hotels with approximately 20,100 rooms, located in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and an interest in one mortgage loan secured by a hotel.

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