Short Interest in El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO) Rises By 33.3%

El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO) was the target of a large growth in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,671,800 shares, a growth of 33.3% from the May 30th total of 2,755,500 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 398,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 9.2 days. Currently, 16.6% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of NASDAQ:LOCO traded up $0.09 during trading on Friday, reaching $10.49. The stock had a trading volume of 358,947 shares, compared to its average volume of 293,857. El Pollo LoCo has a one year low of $10.02 and a one year high of $18.47. The firm has a market cap of $399.70 million, a P/E ratio of 14.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 0.28 and a quick ratio of 0.26. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $10.74.

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $108.98 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.42 million. El Pollo LoCo had a negative net margin of 2.42% and a positive return on equity of 10.29%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.17 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that El Pollo LoCo will post 0.71 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LOCO. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of El Pollo LoCo by 22.7% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 63,720 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $967,000 after acquiring an additional 11,780 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new stake in shares of El Pollo LoCo in the fourth quarter valued at about $128,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of El Pollo LoCo by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,372,038 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $51,154,000 after acquiring an additional 89,941 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of El Pollo LoCo by 20.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 317,185 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,812,000 after acquiring an additional 54,801 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund increased its position in shares of El Pollo LoCo by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 14,572 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $221,000 after acquiring an additional 725 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 91.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on LOCO. ValuEngine cut shares of Zumiez from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of HB Fuller from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. El Pollo LoCo currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $16.25.

About El Pollo LoCo

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco, Inc, develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. The company offers citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken, and handcrafted entrée products, including specialty chicken burritos, chicken quesadillas, and chicken tortilla soup, as well as under 500 calorie entrees, and Pollo Bowl and Pollo salad products.

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