Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest during the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 49,905,703 shares, a drop of 16.4% from the December 15th total of 59,697,345 shares. Currently, 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 11,834,320 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.2 days.

In other Pfizer news, EVP Rady A. Johnson sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.07, for a total value of $296,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 46,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,740,918.41. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Alexander R. Mackenzie sold 14,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.30, for a total transaction of $518,910.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 117,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,145,349.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 29,450 shares of company stock valued at $1,065,220 over the last three months. 0.06% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PFE. Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Pfizer by 1.6% during the second quarter. Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC now owns 372,131 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $12,500,000 after purchasing an additional 5,876 shares during the period. Beacon Financial Group grew its holdings in Pfizer by 2.3% during the second quarter. Beacon Financial Group now owns 228,070 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $7,670,000 after purchasing an additional 5,027 shares during the period. First Command Bank grew its holdings in Pfizer by 131.5% during the second quarter. First Command Bank now owns 23,934 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $804,000 after purchasing an additional 13,596 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new position in Pfizer during the second quarter valued at approximately $534,000. Finally, Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. grew its holdings in Pfizer by 0.7% during the second quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 123,800 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $4,159,000 after purchasing an additional 832 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $41.00 target price on shares of Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. BMO Capital Markets set a $39.00 target price on shares of Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Vetr downgraded shares of Pfizer from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $37.98 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday. Deutsche Bank set a $38.00 target price on shares of Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Pfizer from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.83.

Shares of Pfizer (PFE) opened at $36.54 on Tuesday. Pfizer has a 1 year low of $30.90 and a 1 year high of $37.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.43. The company has a market cap of $217,800.00, a P/E ratio of 22.42, a PEG ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 1.01.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. Pfizer had a net margin of 18.69% and a return on equity of 25.41%. The company had revenue of $13.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.61 EPS. Pfizer’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Pfizer will post 2.59 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 1st. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.72%. This is a boost from Pfizer’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. Pfizer’s payout ratio is currently 78.53%.

Pfizer declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the biopharmaceutical company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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Pfizer Company Profile

Pfizer Inc (Pfizer) is a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer healthcare products. The Company manages its commercial operations through two business segments: Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH).

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