Short Interest in Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) Drops By 37.4%

Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,456,900 shares, a drop of 37.4% from the June 30th total of 2,328,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 437,900 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.3 days. Approximately 2.1% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hilltop from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $24.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Hilltop from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Hilltop from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, Stephens reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 price target on shares of Hilltop in a report on Friday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.50.

In other news, insider Hill A. Feinberg sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.26, for a total value of $810,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 809,153 shares in the company, valued at $16,393,439.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 21.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HTH. TCG Advisors LP purchased a new stake in shares of Hilltop during the 1st quarter valued at about $29,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in shares of Hilltop by 87.0% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 1,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 653 shares during the last quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Hilltop during the 2nd quarter valued at about $40,000. Ashburton Jersey Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Hilltop during the 2nd quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Aperio Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hilltop during the 2nd quarter valued at about $121,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.17% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:HTH traded up $0.16 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $22.26. The company had a trading volume of 547,187 shares, compared to its average volume of 464,369. The firm has a market cap of $2.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.39 and a beta of 0.88. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $21.82. Hilltop has a 52 week low of $16.43 and a 52 week high of $23.38. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03.

Hilltop (NYSE:HTH) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.24. Hilltop had a net margin of 9.56% and a return on equity of 8.02%. The firm had revenue of $420.75 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $380.83 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.35 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Hilltop will post 1.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 14th. Hilltop’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.00%.

About Hilltop

Hilltop Holdings Inc provides banking and financial products and services. The company operates in four segments: Banking, Broker-Dealer, Mortgage Origination, and Insurance. The Banking segment offers savings, checking, interest-bearing checking, and money market accounts; certificates of deposit; lines and letters of credit, home improvement and equity loans, loans for purchasing and carrying securities, equipment loans and leases, agricultural and commercial real estate loans, and other loans; and commercial and industrial loans, and term and construction finance.

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