Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,520,000 shares, a growth of 34.5% from the September 30th total of 12,280,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 18,730,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 0.9 days. Currently, 0.4% of the company’s shares are sold short.

NYSE:ITUB traded down $0.15 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $8.56. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 109,242 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,560,360. The company has a market capitalization of $84.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 0.82. Itau Unibanco has a 12 month low of $7.59 and a 12 month high of $10.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a current ratio of 1.47. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $8.54 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $8.77.

The firm also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 13th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 3rd will be paid a $0.004 dividend. This represents a $0.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 2nd. Itau Unibanco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 5.97%.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on ITUB. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Itau Unibanco from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Itau Unibanco from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $9.50 to $13.50 in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. ValuEngine raised shares of Itau Unibanco from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, Citigroup raised shares of Itau Unibanco from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Itau Unibanco currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $12.75.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Itau Unibanco by 8.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 60,604,506 shares of the bank’s stock worth $570,895,000 after buying an additional 4,946,430 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Itau Unibanco by 22.8% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 53,866,884 shares of the bank’s stock worth $453,020,000 after buying an additional 9,996,839 shares in the last quarter. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Itau Unibanco by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. now owns 47,278,965 shares of the bank’s stock worth $441,760,000 after buying an additional 1,525,159 shares in the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. raised its stake in Itau Unibanco by 0.3% in the second quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 43,293,178 shares of the bank’s stock worth $407,821,000 after buying an additional 131,190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in Itau Unibanco by 851.9% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 26,350,070 shares of the bank’s stock worth $248,217,000 after buying an additional 23,581,954 shares in the last quarter. 5.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Itau Unibanco Company Profile

Itaú Unibanco Holding SA provides a range of financial products and services to individuals and corporate clients in Brazil and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Activities with the Market + Corporation. It accepts demand, savings, and time deposits; and offers payroll, mortgage, personal, vehicle, and corporate loans, as well as very small, small, and middle market loans.

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