ABM Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ABM) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,172,641 shares, a growth of 55.1% from the December 15th total of 2,045,285 shares. Approximately 5.3% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 626,102 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.1 days.

ABM has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. TheStreet cut shares of ABM Industries from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of ABM Industries from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. ABM Industries currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $49.50.

In other ABM Industries news, Director Linda Chavez sold 2,103 shares of ABM Industries stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.89, for a total value of $81,785.67. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,557 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $643,901.73. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ABM. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of ABM Industries by 17.7% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,209 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $216,000 after buying an additional 782 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in shares of ABM Industries by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,629 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 229 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in shares of ABM Industries by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 92,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,841,000 after buying an additional 5,200 shares during the period. CIBC World Markets Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of ABM Industries during the 2nd quarter valued at $624,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of ABM Industries by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 138,338 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $5,744,000 after buying an additional 8,386 shares during the period. 94.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of ABM Industries (NYSE:ABM) opened at $38.47 on Wednesday. ABM Industries has a 12 month low of $36.61 and a 12 month high of $45.12. The stock has a market cap of $2,546.54, a price-to-earnings ratio of 549.65 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a current ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84.

ABM Industries (NYSE:ABM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, December 13th. The business services provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.12). ABM Industries had a net margin of 0.07% and a return on equity of 9.74%. The company had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.49 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.51 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that ABM Industries will post 1.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.175 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 3rd. This is a boost from ABM Industries’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.82%. ABM Industries’s payout ratio is currently 1,000.14%.

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About ABM Industries

ABM Industries Incorporated is a provider of integrated facility solutions. The Company operates through five segments: Janitorial, Facility Services, Parking, Building & Energy Solutions, and other. Its Janitorial segment provides a range of cleaning services for commercial office buildings, data centers, educational institutions, government buildings, health facilities, industrial buildings, retail stores, sport event facilities and transportation hubs.

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