Citizens Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CFG) Short Interest Up 54.6% in January

Citizens Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CFG) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of January. As of January 12th, there was short interest totalling 11,496,341 shares, a growth of 54.6% from the December 29th total of 7,438,392 shares. Approximately 2.3% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 4,893,974 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets raised Citizens Financial Group from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $40.00 to $39.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Barclays raised their target price on Citizens Financial Group from $41.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Citizens Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, December 4th. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $52.00 price target on Citizens Financial Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Citizens Financial Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $42.36.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group (CFG) opened at $43.96 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 0.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $21,180.23, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.72 and a beta of 1.39. Citizens Financial Group has a one year low of $31.51 and a one year high of $48.23.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) last posted its earnings results on Friday, January 19th. The bank reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.48 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.45 billion. Citizens Financial Group had a return on equity of 6.73% and a net margin of 25.60%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.55 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Citizens Financial Group will post 3.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 1st will be paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 31st. This is a boost from Citizens Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.00%. Citizens Financial Group’s payout ratio is presently 26.91%.

In related news, Director Wendy A. Watson sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.31, for a total transaction of $161,240.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,917 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $520,684.27. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group in the fourth quarter valued at $131,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 128.4% in the fourth quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 3,148 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,770 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC grew its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 41,266.7% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 3,723 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 3,714 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 315.8% in the fourth quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,397 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 2,580 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lipe & Dalton acquired a new stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group in the third quarter valued at $207,000. 98.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Citizens Financial Group

Citizens Financial Group, Inc is a retail bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. Its Consumer Banking serves retail customers and small businesses. Consumer Banking products and services include deposit products, mortgage and home equity lending, auto financing, student loans, personal unsecured lines and loans, credit cards, business loans, wealth management and investment services.

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