Union Bankshares Corp (UBSH) Short Interest Up 59.0% in January

Union Bankshares Corp (NASDAQ:UBSH) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,187,687 shares, an increase of 59.0% from the January 12th total of 1,375,966 shares. Currently, 5.8% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 710,804 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.1 days.

In other Union Bankshares news, EVP John G. Jr. Stallings purchased 1,373 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $36.22 per share, with a total value of $49,730.06. Following the acquisition, the executive vice president now owns 9,582 shares in the company, valued at $347,060.04. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in UBSH. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Union Bankshares by 59.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,792,680 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $63,282,000 after purchasing an additional 671,092 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Bankshares during the third quarter worth approximately $21,259,000. Tributary Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Bankshares during the fourth quarter worth approximately $15,187,000. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Bankshares during the third quarter worth approximately $3,166,000. Finally, Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Bankshares during the third quarter worth approximately $2,905,000. 64.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

UBSH has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Union Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a report on Saturday, January 13th. Brean Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Union Bankshares in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Merion Capital Group increased their price target on shares of Union Bankshares from $45.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Sandler O’Neill set a $39.00 price objective on shares of Union Bankshares and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Union Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Union Bankshares currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $41.80.

Shares of Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSH) opened at $36.55 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 0.94 and a quick ratio of 0.94. The stock has a market cap of $2,346.35, a PE ratio of 21.89 and a beta of 1.21. Union Bankshares has a 12 month low of $29.50 and a 12 month high of $39.37.

Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $90.64 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $91.35 million. Union Bankshares had a net margin of 18.15% and a return on equity of 8.12%. equities analysts forecast that Union Bankshares will post 2.56 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 6th will be paid a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 5th. Union Bankshares’s payout ratio is currently 50.30%.

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About Union Bankshares

Union Bankshares Corporation is a financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: a community bank segment and mortgage loan origination business segment. The Company offers financial services through its community bank subsidiary, Union Bank & Trust (the Bank) and three non-bank financial services affiliates.

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