Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC) was the target of a large drop in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 522,264 shares, a drop of 39.0% from the December 15th total of 855,931 shares. Currently, 1.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 285,797 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days.

In related news, Director Ingrid S. Stafford sold 1,405 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.63, for a total value of $113,285.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 20,746 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,672,749.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP David A. Dykstra sold 22,476 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.86, for a total value of $1,794,933.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 188,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,061,915.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 44,500 shares of company stock valued at $3,563,512 in the last quarter. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WTFC. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in shares of Wintrust Financial during the 2nd quarter valued at about $63,086,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Wintrust Financial by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,492,888 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $496,316,000 after buying an additional 382,791 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Wintrust Financial by 33.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,403,270 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $107,265,000 after buying an additional 349,965 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Wintrust Financial by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,586,706 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $350,607,000 after buying an additional 327,529 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Wintrust Financial by 18.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,637,332 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $127,646,000 after buying an additional 257,613 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.60% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) opened at $87.49 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,892.70, a PE ratio of 20.98, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.01. Wintrust Financial has a 1-year low of $64.14 and a 1-year high of $88.54.

Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The bank reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $295.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $298.96 million. Wintrust Financial had a return on equity of 9.32% and a net margin of 19.74%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.92 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Wintrust Financial will post 4.38 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating on shares of Wintrust Financial in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wintrust Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective on shares of Wintrust Financial in a research report on Friday, October 20th. BidaskClub upgraded Wintrust Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Wintrust Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $86.88.

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About Wintrust Financial

Wintrust Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its businesses through three segments: community banking, specialty finance and wealth management. The Company offers community banking services to individuals, small to mid-sized businesses, local governmental units and institutional clients.

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