PulteGroup (PHM) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest

PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest during the month of March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 18,091,194 shares, a drop of 19.3% from the March 15th total of 22,422,817 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 4,105,545 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.4 days. Approximately 6.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of NYSE PHM opened at $29.87 on Wednesday. PulteGroup has a twelve month low of $21.41 and a twelve month high of $35.21. The firm has a market cap of $8,390.56, a P/E ratio of 13.64, a PEG ratio of 0.46 and a beta of 1.04.

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PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The construction company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.85. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. PulteGroup had a net margin of 5.22% and a return on equity of 15.52%. PulteGroup’s quarterly revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.67 earnings per share. analysts expect that PulteGroup will post 3.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 16th were issued a $0.09 dividend. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 15th. PulteGroup’s payout ratio is 16.44%.

PulteGroup announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, January 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the construction company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Patrick J. Oleary sold 8,677 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.03, for a total transaction of $260,570.31. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 90,687 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,723,330.61. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.86% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of PHM. Focused Wealth Management Inc acquired a new stake in PulteGroup in the fourth quarter worth $113,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in PulteGroup in the fourth quarter worth $119,000. National Pension Service acquired a new stake in PulteGroup in the fourth quarter worth $138,000. Raymond James Trust N.A. acquired a new stake in PulteGroup in the fourth quarter worth $200,000. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in PulteGroup in the fourth quarter worth $205,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.17% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Barclays dropped their price target on shares of PulteGroup from $35.00 to $33.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PulteGroup from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of PulteGroup in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $34.15.

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About PulteGroup

PulteGroup, Inc, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the homebuilding business in the United States. The company is involved in the acquisition and development of land primarily for residential purposes; and the construction of housing on such land. It offers various home designs, including single-family detached, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes under the Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods names.

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