Simmons First National Co. (SFNC) Short Interest Update

Simmons First National Co. (NASDAQ:SFNC) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,263,913 shares, an increase of 41.9% from the October 15th total of 2,299,714 shares. Currently, 3.6% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 404,820 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 8.1 days.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on SFNC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Simmons First National from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, July 27th. BidaskClub cut Simmons First National from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. Stephens set a $34.00 target price on Simmons First National and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Robert W. Baird assumed coverage on Simmons First National in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $34.00 price objective for the company. Finally, ValuEngine cut Simmons First National from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.40.

SFNC stock opened at $27.54 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market cap of $2.53 billion, a PE ratio of 16.11 and a beta of 1.03. Simmons First National has a fifty-two week low of $24.58 and a fifty-two week high of $33.45.

Simmons First National (NASDAQ:SFNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 22nd. The bank reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $176.69 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $175.20 million. Simmons First National had a return on equity of 9.66% and a net margin of 22.55%. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Simmons First National will post 2.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 4th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 14th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.18%. Simmons First National’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.09%.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Simmons First National by 14.1% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,170,435 shares of the bank’s stock worth $387,870,000 after buying an additional 1,631,285 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Simmons First National by 4.7% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,067,040 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $151,507,000 after purchasing an additional 228,737 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Simmons First National by 0.3% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,381,038 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $41,294,000 after purchasing an additional 4,433 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Simmons First National by 13.3% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,197,113 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $35,254,000 after purchasing an additional 140,846 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rothschild Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Simmons First National by 128.5% during the second quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,086,118 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $32,475,000 after purchasing an additional 610,825 shares during the last quarter. 60.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Simmons First National Company Profile

Simmons First National Corporation operates as the holding company for Simmons Bank that provides financial products and services to individuals and businesses. It offers checking, savings, and time deposits; loan products, including consumer, real estate, commercial, agricultural, equipment, and SBA lending; personal and corporate trust services; credit cards; investment management products; insurance products; and securities and investment services.

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