Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRG) Short Interest Up 20.4% in April


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Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRG) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 703,400 shares, an increase of 20.4% from the March 31st total of 584,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 0 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently ∞ days.

Shares of NASDAQ FRG traded down $0.88 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $38.87. The company had a trading volume of 7,944 shares, compared to its average volume of 157,077. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 1.13. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $37.17 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $32.63. Franchise Group has a 1-year low of $12.35 and a 1-year high of $41.50.

Franchise Group (NASDAQ:FRG) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, March 9th. The company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.24. The business had revenue of $496.32 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $498.13 million. Franchise Group had a return on equity of 12.37% and a net margin of 0.94%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Franchise Group will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 31st were issued a $0.375 dividend. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.86%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 30th.

Several analysts recently commented on the company. Barrington Research raised their target price on Franchise Group from $40.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. B. Riley raised their target price on Franchise Group from $38.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. DA Davidson raised their target price on Franchise Group from $40.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. Oppenheimer started coverage on Franchise Group in a research report on Tuesday, April 27th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Franchise Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $44.43.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Franchise Group by 64.3% in the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 72,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,616,000 after acquiring an additional 28,364 shares during the last quarter. Cowen Prime Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of Franchise Group by 3.6% during the first quarter. Cowen Prime Services LLC now owns 268,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,677,000 after buying an additional 9,370 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio purchased a new position in shares of Franchise Group during the first quarter valued at $191,000. Hodges Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Franchise Group in the 1st quarter worth about $374,000. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. acquired a new stake in Franchise Group during the 4th quarter worth about $417,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.32% of the company’s stock.

About Franchise Group

Franchise Group, Inc operates as a retailer, franchisor operator, and acquirer of franchised and franchisable businesses. It operates through 4 segments: Liberty Tax, Buddy's, Sears Outlet, and Vitamin Shoppe. The company provides tax preparation services in the United States and Canada; and franchises and operates rent-to-own stores that lease durable goods, such as electronics, residential furniture, appliances, and household accessories to customers.

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