BankUnited (BKU) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,517,074 shares, a growth of 86.2% from the January 12th total of 814,548 shares. Approximately 1.4% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,170,026 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.3 days.

Shares of BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) opened at $39.91 on Wednesday. BankUnited has a one year low of $30.37 and a one year high of $43.84. The company has a market cap of $4,260.00, a P/E ratio of 7.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.86.

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.24. BankUnited had a net margin of 45.09% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The company had revenue of $285.37 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $270.33 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.59 EPS. equities analysts forecast that BankUnited will post 3.14 earnings per share for the current year.

BankUnited announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to buyback $150.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 12th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, January 11th. BankUnited’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 15.08%.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on BKU shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of BankUnited in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of BankUnited in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, Deutsche Bank decreased their target price on shares of BankUnited from $42.00 to $40.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. BankUnited has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $43.09.

In other news, Director Douglas J. Pauls sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.12, for a total value of $1,684,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 31,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,321,725.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Bagnoli sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.88, for a total transaction of $35,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,699 shares in the company, valued at approximately $706,800.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Amica Retiree Medical Trust purchased a new stake in BankUnited during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $138,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in BankUnited during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $174,000. Forward Management LLC purchased a new stake in BankUnited during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $192,000. QS Investors LLC grew its holdings in BankUnited by 9.6% during the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 6,280 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new stake in BankUnited during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $219,000. 96.43% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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BankUnited Company Profile

BankUnited, Inc is the bank holding company of BankUnited (the Bank). The bank is a national banking association. As of December 31, 2016, the Bank provided a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers through 94 banking centers located in 15 Florida counties and six banking centers in the New York metropolitan area.

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