BankUnited (BKU) Short Interest Up 51.5% in April

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) saw a large growth in short interest in April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 2,215,464 shares, a growth of 51.5% from the April 13th total of 1,462,125 shares. Currently, 2.1% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 834,749 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.7 days.

Shares of BKU stock opened at $42.01 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.04. BankUnited has a one year low of $41.33 and a one year high of $41.77.

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.05. BankUnited had a return on equity of 11.16% and a net margin of 45.31%. The firm had revenue of $275.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $271.96 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.57 EPS. research analysts expect that BankUnited will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

BankUnited declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $150.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, April 12th were given a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, April 11th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.00%. BankUnited’s payout ratio is 31.70%.

BKU has been the topic of several recent research reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of BankUnited in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Barclays boosted their price target on BankUnited from $46.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. ValuEngine raised BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Hovde Group lowered BankUnited from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $45.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered BankUnited from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $42.92.

In other news, insider Mark Bagnoli sold 1,000 shares of BankUnited stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.63, for a total transaction of $40,630.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 25,118 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,020,544.34. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Eugene F. Demark sold 2,682 shares of BankUnited stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.92, for a total value of $115,111.44. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 16,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $686,720. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 6,487 shares of company stock worth $276,048 in the last three months. 2.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in BankUnited by 1.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,703,414 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $188,042,000 after purchasing an additional 63,224 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in BankUnited by 20.6% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,907,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $118,404,000 after purchasing an additional 496,381 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in BankUnited by 5.5% in the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,809,667 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,330,000 after purchasing an additional 146,209 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. raised its position in BankUnited by 282.3% in the 4th quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,655,021 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,112,000 after purchasing an additional 1,960,555 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC raised its position in BankUnited by 1,334.0% in the 4th quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 2,228,050 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $90,727,000 after purchasing an additional 2,072,682 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.13% of the company’s stock.

About BankUnited

BankUnited, Inc operates as the bank holding company for BankUnited, National Association that provides a range of banking services to small and medium sized businesses, and individual and corporate customers in the United States. The company offers deposit products, such as checking, money market deposit, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and treasury management services.

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