Short Interest in Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) Declines By 24.1%

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 14,746,746 shares, a decline of 24.1% from the June 15th total of 19,420,482 shares. Approximately 1.8% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 7,239,653 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days.

A number of analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Synchrony Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. TheStreet upgraded Synchrony Financial from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $35.00 target price (up from $33.00) on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research report on Friday, July 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Synchrony Financial currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $37.46.

Shares of Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) traded down 0.39% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $30.87. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,406,265 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $29.88 and a 200 day moving average price of $31.62. Synchrony Financial has a 52 week low of $26.01 and a 52 week high of $38.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.55 billion, a PE ratio of 11.59 and a beta of 1.01.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. Synchrony Financial had a return on equity of 15.30% and a net margin of 13.84%. The business had revenue of $3.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.59 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.58 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Synchrony Financial will post $2.60 earnings per share for the current year.

Synchrony Financial declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, May 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.64 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase up to 7.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This is a positive change from Synchrony Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.94%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. Synchrony Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 22.64%.

In other Synchrony Financial news, Director Paget Leonard Alves purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $30.85 per share, for a total transaction of $61,700.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 8,521 shares in the company, valued at $262,872.85. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in Synchrony Financial by 6.2% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,245,162 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $214,209,000 after buying an additional 363,874 shares during the period. Creative Planning raised its position in Synchrony Financial by 4.3% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 5,863 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 240 shares during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Synchrony Financial by 28.8% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 6,226 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 1,394 shares during the period. AT Bancorp raised its position in Synchrony Financial by 9.8% in the first quarter. AT Bancorp now owns 142,538 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,889,000 after buying an additional 12,726 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Synchrony Financial by 14.5% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 46,379 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,591,000 after buying an additional 5,864 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.63% of the company’s stock.

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About Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial is a consumer financial services company. The Company provides a range of credit products through programs it has established with a group of national and regional retailers, local merchants, manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare service providers. The Company’s revenue activities are managed through three sales platforms: Retail Card, Payment Solutions and CareCredit.

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