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Shares of Shire PLC (NASDAQ:SHPG) were the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,825,863 shares, an increase of 27.4% from the July 31st total of 1,433,306 shares, American Banking & Market News reports. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,797,333 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.0 days. Currently, 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on SHPG shares. Analysts at Leerink Swann upgraded shares of Shire PLC from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 21st. They now have a $269.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Buckingham Research downgraded shares of Shire PLC from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 21st. Finally, analysts at SunTrust downgraded shares of Shire PLC from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 21st. They now have a $269.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $250.00. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Shire PLC has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $215.67.

Shares of Shire PLC (NASDAQ:SHPG) opened at 246.67 on Thursday. Shire PLC has a 1-year low of $113.07 and a 1-year high of $258.55. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $246.1 and its 200-day moving average is $194.0. The company has a market cap of $48.216 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.35.

Shire PLC (NASDAQ:SHPG) last released its earnings data on Friday, July 18th. The company reported $2.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.45 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.45 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.79 earnings per share. Shire PLC’s revenue was up 20.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Shire PLC will post $10.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.1149 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 0.09%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 3rd.

Shire plc (NASDAQ:SHPG) is a specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician.

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