Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 9,410,000 shares, a decrease of 27.4% from the March 31st total of 12,970,000 shares. Approximately 1.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 6,540,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days.
Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft upped their price objective on Synchrony Financial from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 28th. JMP Securities increased their target price on shares of Synchrony Financial from $36.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 26th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Synchrony Financial from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Oppenheimer reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research report on Tuesday, April 20th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Synchrony Financial from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Friday, February 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $41.79.
Shares of Synchrony Financial stock traded up $1.01 on Tuesday, reaching $44.69. 468,077 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,692,625. The company has a market capitalization of $25.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.79. Synchrony Financial has a 52 week low of $15.17 and a 52 week high of $44.58. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $41.59 and its two-hundred day moving average is $35.86. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a current ratio of 1.21.
Synchrony Financial declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, January 26th that permits the company to repurchase $1.60 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase up to 8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 13th. Investors of record on Monday, May 3rd will be issued a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 30th. Synchrony Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.51%.
In other news, insider Paul Whynott sold 20,480 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.76, for a total value of $814,284.80. Also, insider David P. Melito sold 2,205 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.16, for a total value of $92,962.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $731,138.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.45% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vicus Capital bought a new position in shares of Synchrony Financial in the 1st quarter worth $205,000. SeaTown Holdings Pte. Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 177.3% in the 1st quarter. SeaTown Holdings Pte. Ltd. now owns 610,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $24,803,000 after purchasing an additional 390,000 shares in the last quarter. Ellevest Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 1,564.0% in the 1st quarter. Ellevest Inc. now owns 832 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $34,000 after purchasing an additional 782 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 24.2% in the 1st quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 35,106 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,427,000 after purchasing an additional 6,830 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sandy Spring Bank bought a new position in shares of Synchrony Financial in the 1st quarter worth $30,000. Institutional investors own 91.13% of the company’s stock.
About Synchrony Financial
Synchrony Financial operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. It provides a range of specialized financing programs and consumer banking products to digital, retail, home, auto, travel, health, and pet industries. The company also offers private label credit cards, dual cards, general purpose co-branded credit cards, and small and medium-sized business credit products; and promotional financing for consumer purchases, such as private label credit cards, dual cards, and installment loans.
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