LPL Financial Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LPLA) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 806,480 shares, a decline of 49.1% from the February 15th total of 1,584,877 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,042,883 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 0.8 days.
LPLA has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on LPL Financial in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $68.00 price target on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price on shares of LPL Financial in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered LPL Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Morgan Stanley upgraded LPL Financial from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $60.00 target price (up previously from $52.00) on shares of LPL Financial in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.36.
Shares of LPL Financial (LPLA) opened at $65.45 on Tuesday. LPL Financial has a 52-week low of $37.38 and a 52-week high of $66.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.47, a quick ratio of 1.39 and a current ratio of 1.39. The company has a market capitalization of $5,850.00, a PE ratio of 26.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.59.
LPL Financial declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, December 5th that permits the company to buyback $359.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. LPL Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.00%.
In other LPL Financial news, Director William P. Jr. Morrissey sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.74, for a total value of $1,254,800.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 37,541 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,355,322.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Marco Hellman sold 29,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.63, for a total value of $1,864,359.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 1,443,037 shares of company stock worth $90,586,339 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. American International Group Inc. acquired a new position in LPL Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $119,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in LPL Financial by 8.2% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,794 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 211 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in LPL Financial during the 4th quarter worth approximately $122,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in LPL Financial by 140.7% during the 4th quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,186 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 1,278 shares during the period. Finally, Comerica Bank acquired a new position in LPL Financial during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $200,000. 93.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About LPL Financial
LPL Financial Holdings Inc is a broker-dealer, a custodian for registered investment advisors and an independent consultant to retirement plans. The Company provides a platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors, including financial advisors at financial institutions across the country.
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