Short Interest in SuperValu Inc. (SVU) Rises By 91.8%

SuperValu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) was the target of a large growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,136,364 shares, a growth of 91.8% from the October 13th total of 2,678,592 shares. Approximately 13.5% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,554,543 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.0 days.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in shares of SuperValu by 0.7% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 36,224 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 246 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp boosted its stake in shares of SuperValu by 2.5% in the second quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 41,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in shares of SuperValu by 0.7% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 207,493 shares of the company’s stock valued at $683,000 after purchasing an additional 1,492 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its stake in shares of SuperValu by 0.8% in the second quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 195,432 shares of the company’s stock valued at $643,000 after purchasing an additional 1,645 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in shares of SuperValu by 5.6% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 31,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 1,687 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.25% of the company’s stock.

SuperValu (NYSE SVU) traded up $0.52 during trading on Monday, reaching $18.99. 1,250,258 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 813,543. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.76. SuperValu has a 52-week low of $14.55 and a 52-week high of $35.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $709.40, a P/E ratio of 7.86 and a beta of 2.29.

SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.11. SuperValu had a net margin of 4.08% and a return on equity of 41.33%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.78 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.70 earnings per share. SuperValu’s revenue for the quarter was up 35.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that SuperValu will post 2.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several research analysts have issued reports on SVU shares. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $42.00 price objective on shares of SuperValu and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 28th. Pivotal Research set a $39.00 target price on shares of SuperValu and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $14.00 target price on shares of SuperValu in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on shares of SuperValu in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $16.00 price objective for the company. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of SuperValu from a “c” rating to a “d+” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.50.

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About SuperValu

Supervalu Inc is a wholesale distributor to independent retail customers across the United States. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Retail. The Company offers a range of advertised brand name and private-label products, including grocery (both perishable and nonperishable), general merchandise and home, health and beauty care, and pharmacy, which are sold through Company-operated and licensed Retail stores to shoppers and through its Wholesale segment to independent retail customers.

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