Short Interest in Stantec Inc. (NYSE:STN) Grows By 14.5%

Stantec Inc. (NYSE:STN) (TSE:STN) saw a significant increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,660,400 shares, an increase of 14.5% from the July 31st total of 1,450,200 shares. Currently, 1.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 16,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 99.4 days.

STN has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Stantec from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 14th. Raymond James reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $34.50 price objective on shares of Stantec in a report on Friday, August 9th. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price objective on Stantec from $39.00 to $37.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 9th. Finally, CIBC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Stantec in a report on Friday, August 9th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Stantec has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $33.90.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Weaver Consulting Group purchased a new stake in Stantec in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $88,000. Aperio Group LLC purchased a new stake in Stantec in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $147,000. Geode Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Stantec in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $226,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Stantec in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $394,000. Finally, Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in Stantec by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 18,700 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $450,000 after purchasing an additional 1,407 shares in the last quarter. 62.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE STN traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $22.47. 971 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 17,064. The company has a current ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. Stantec has a 1 year low of $20.22 and a 1 year high of $26.74. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $22.26 and a 200 day simple moving average of $23.62. The stock has a market cap of $2.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.01 and a beta of 1.16.

Stantec (NYSE:STN) (TSE:STN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The business services provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by ($0.07). Stantec had a return on equity of 10.70% and a net margin of 1.33%. The company had revenue of $712.92 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $706.38 million. As a group, analysts forecast that Stantec will post 1.45 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Monday, September 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 27th. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.96%. This is a positive change from Stantec’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. Stantec’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.71%.

About Stantec

Stantec Inc provides professional consulting services in the area of infrastructure and facilities for clients in the public and private sectors in Canada, the United States, and internationally. It operates through three segments: Consulting Services – Canada, Consulting Services – United States, and Consulting Services – Global.

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