Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) Short Interest Up 52.5% in August

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 84,800 shares, an increase of 52.5% from the July 31st total of 55,600 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 47,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.8 days. Approximately 1.2% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In related news, Director James B. Hicks sold 2,176 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.20, for a total transaction of $185,395.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 17,618 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,501,053.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Thomas J. Carley sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.25, for a total transaction of $264,750.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 24,989 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,205,279.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,376 shares of company stock worth $467,317. Insiders own 6.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BBSI. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in Barrett Business Services during the second quarter worth approximately $28,000. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Barrett Business Services by 304.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 805 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $66,000 after purchasing an additional 606 shares in the last quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors purchased a new position in Barrett Business Services in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $89,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in Barrett Business Services by 49,366.7% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,484 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,481 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Barrett Business Services during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $156,000. 80.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ BBSI traded up $2.07 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $88.22. The company had a trading volume of 550 shares, compared to its average volume of 45,878. Barrett Business Services has a one year low of $53.10 and a one year high of $91.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 1.12 and a current ratio of 1.12. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $87.47 and its 200 day simple moving average is $80.78. The firm has a market cap of $643.22 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.65 and a beta of 0.95.

Barrett Business Services (NASDAQ:BBSI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The business services provider reported $1.81 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $1.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.47 billion. Barrett Business Services had a return on equity of 39.94% and a net margin of 5.09%. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Barrett Business Services will post 5.53 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 23rd were issued a $0.30 dividend. This is a positive change from Barrett Business Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Barrett Business Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.10%.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on BBSI. BidaskClub cut Barrett Business Services from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Roth Capital upped their price target on Barrett Business Services from $110.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Barrett Business Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, August 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Barrett Business Services presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $108.33.

About Barrett Business Services

Barrett Business Services, Inc provides business management solutions for small and mid-sized companies in the United States. It develops a management platform that integrates a knowledge-based approach from the management consulting industry with tools from the human resource outsourcing industry. The company offers professional employer services under which it enters into a client services agreement to establish a co-employment relationship with each client company, assuming responsibility for payroll, payroll taxes, workers' compensation coverage, and other administration functions for the client's existing workforce.

Further Reading: Why do analysts give a neutral rating?

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