First Choice Bancorp (NASDAQ:FCBP) Short Interest Up 108.5% in August

First Choice Bancorp (NASDAQ:FCBP) was the target of a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 124,700 shares, a growth of 108.5% from the July 31st total of 59,800 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 17,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.1 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In related news, Vice Chairman Phillip Thong purchased 6,868 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $21.21 per share, with a total value of $145,670.28. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Peter Hui purchased 7,133 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 30th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $21.33 per share, for a total transaction of $152,146.89. Following the acquisition, the chairman now directly owns 671,576 shares in the company, valued at $14,324,716.08. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired a total of 29,186 shares of company stock worth $620,046 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 15.14% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in First Choice Bancorp by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 51,808 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,178,000 after acquiring an additional 694 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in First Choice Bancorp by 450.1% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,909 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after acquiring an additional 1,562 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in First Choice Bancorp by 10.3% in the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 23,298 shares of the company’s stock worth $530,000 after acquiring an additional 2,168 shares during the last quarter. Context BH Capital Management LP grew its holdings in First Choice Bancorp by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Context BH Capital Management LP now owns 228,079 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,187,000 after acquiring an additional 2,403 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in First Choice Bancorp by 49.2% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,431 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after acquiring an additional 2,449 shares during the last quarter. 30.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of First Choice Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, June 13th.

Shares of FCBP stock traded up $0.40 on Friday, hitting $21.95. 242 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 16,413. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 1.07. First Choice Bancorp has a one year low of $18.57 and a one year high of $28.30. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $21.35 and its 200 day simple moving average is $21.71.

First Choice Bancorp (NASDAQ:FCBP) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $21.16 million for the quarter. First Choice Bancorp had a net margin of 25.42% and a return on equity of 10.40%.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th were issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.64%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 14th.

About First Choice Bancorp

First Choice Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for First Choice Bank that provides retail, personal, and commercial banking products and services to individuals, families, and small and medium-sized businesses. It offers interest and noninterest-bearing demand deposit, money market and savings accounts, remote deposit products, and time certificates of deposit; and loan products, such as construction and land development, residential real estate, commercial real estate, commercial and industrial, and small business administration (SBA) and consumer loans, as well as startup funds to entrepreneurs.

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