Popular, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPOP) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 4,610,593 shares, an increase of 61.4% from the September 29th total of 2,857,225 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,340,145 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.4 days. Approximately 4.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BPOP. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in Popular by 7.2% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,980 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in Popular by 12.2% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,887 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $162,000 after buying an additional 423 shares in the last quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Popular during the second quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. lifted its position in Popular by 229.4% during the second quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 5,600 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $233,000 after buying an additional 3,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp lifted its position in Popular by 2.8% during the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 5,777 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 159 shares in the last quarter. 85.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) opened at 34.16 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $36.40 and its 200 day moving average is $39.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.43 and a beta of 1.25. Popular has a 52 week low of $32.04 and a 52 week high of $45.96.

Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The bank reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $491.27 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $500.66 million. Popular had a net margin of 11.57% and a return on equity of 7.11%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Popular will post $3.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 14th were given a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%. Popular’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 45.05%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on BPOP. ValuEngine lowered shares of Popular from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Popular from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective (up from $42.00) on shares of Popular in a report on Friday, July 7th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Popular in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Popular in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.33.

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Popular Company Profile

Popular, Inc (Popular) is a financial holding company. The Company operates in two segments: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR), which includes its Puerto Rico business, and Banco Popular North America (BPNA), which includes its the United States mainland business. The Company has operations in Puerto Rico, the United States and the Caribbean.

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