CVS Health Corp (CVS) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,420,741 shares, an increase of 35.1% from the January 15th total of 10,671,652 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 9,924,659 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.5 days.

In related news, CFO David M. Denton sold 25,159 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.13, for a total transaction of $2,015,990.67. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 403 shares in the company, valued at approximately $32,292.39. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Larry J. Merlo sold 166,368 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.51, for a total value of $10,732,399.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 435,534 shares of company stock valued at $29,245,258. Corporate insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of CVS Health by 32.0% in the fourth quarter. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC now owns 68,487 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $4,487,000 after buying an additional 16,605 shares in the last quarter. BOKF NA increased its position in CVS Health by 15.3% in the 4th quarter. BOKF NA now owns 50,712 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $3,323,000 after acquiring an additional 6,740 shares during the period. RMB Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of CVS Health by 54.7% during the 4th quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 10,106 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $662,000 after acquiring an additional 3,573 shares in the last quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in CVS Health during the fourth quarter valued at $436,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of CVS Health by 36.2% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 16,462,292 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,076,697,000 after purchasing an additional 4,376,604 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.22% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on CVS. Tigress Financial reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of CVS Health in a research report on Friday, October 26th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 price target on shares of CVS Health in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of CVS Health in a report on Thursday, October 25th. They set a “peer perform” rating for the company. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on shares of CVS Health in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of CVS Health from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.79.

Shares of CVS Health stock opened at $67.79 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 2.44 and a quick ratio of 1.94. CVS Health has a 52-week low of $60.14 and a 52-week high of $82.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $66.34 billion, a PE ratio of 11.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.03.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 4th. Investors of record on Friday, January 25th were issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 24th. CVS Health’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.90%.

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About CVS Health

CVS Health Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides integrated pharmacy health care services. It operates through Pharmacy Services and Retail/LTC segments. The Pharmacy Services segment offers pharmacy benefit management solutions, such as plan design and administration, formulary management, Medicare Part D services, mail order, specialty pharmacy and infusion services, retail pharmacy network management services, prescription management systems, clinical services, disease management programs, and medical pharmacy management services.

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