Short Interest in Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) Expands By 41.7%

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) saw a large growth in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,158,000 shares, a growth of 41.7% from the July 31st total of 5,757,500 shares. Currently, 3.9% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,930,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.2 days.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Investors Research Corp raised its position in shares of Unum Group by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. Investors Research Corp now owns 6,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $228,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Unum Group by 2.1% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 17,318 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $586,000 after purchasing an additional 364 shares in the last quarter. Stanley Laman Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Unum Group by 2.5% in the second quarter. Stanley Laman Group Ltd. now owns 15,315 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $514,000 after purchasing an additional 380 shares in the last quarter. Commerce Bank raised its holdings in Unum Group by 2.5% in the second quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 17,493 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $587,000 after purchasing an additional 428 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Copperwynd Financial LLC lifted its position in shares of Unum Group by 3.9% during the second quarter. Copperwynd Financial LLC now owns 11,662 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $391,000 after buying an additional 433 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.61% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Barclays set a $36.00 price target on Unum Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Unum Group in a report on Wednesday, July 10th. They set an “underperform” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unum Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Unum Group from $40.00 to $37.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 20th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Unum Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Unum Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.25.

UNM traded up $0.68 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $29.29. The company had a trading volume of 2,190,849 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,011,098. The company has a quick ratio of 0.17, a current ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $27.98 and a 200-day simple moving average of $33.06. The stock has a market cap of $5.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 5.63, a PEG ratio of 0.56 and a beta of 1.56. Unum Group has a 52 week low of $24.71 and a 52 week high of $40.76.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.02. Unum Group had a net margin of 4.46% and a return on equity of 12.90%. The business had revenue of $3.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.99 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Unum Group will post 5.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 29th were given a $0.285 dividend. This represents a $1.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 26th. This is a boost from Unum Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.92%.

About Unum Group

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection benefit solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally. It operates through Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, and Closed Block segments. The company offers group long-term and short-term disability, group life, and accidental death and dismemberment products; supplemental and voluntary products, such as individual disability, voluntary benefits, and dental and vision products; and accident, sickness, disability, life, and cancer and critical illness products.

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