Webster Financial Co. (NYSE:WBS) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

Webster Financial Co. (NYSE:WBS) saw a significant decrease in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,580,000 shares, a decrease of 28.5% from the September 30th total of 3,610,000 shares. Approximately 2.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 618,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.2 days.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Compass Point cut shares of Webster Financial from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Sandler O’Neill cut shares of Webster Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Webster Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Stephens started coverage on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Monday, October 28th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $42.00 target price for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Webster Financial from $52.00 to $50.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.33.

Shares of NYSE WBS traded up $0.24 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $48.12. The company had a trading volume of 16,252 shares, compared to its average volume of 842,780. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $45.98 and a two-hundred day moving average of $47.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 0.81. The company has a market capitalization of $4.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.87, a PEG ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.27. Webster Financial has a 12-month low of $42.29 and a 12-month high of $61.22.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The financial services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.01 by ($0.01). Webster Financial had a net margin of 27.14% and a return on equity of 13.49%. The business had revenue of $310.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $314.65 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. Webster Financial’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Webster Financial will post 4.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 26th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 12th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 8th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.33%. Webster Financial’s payout ratio is 42.78%.

In related news, Director Mark Pettie sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.32, for a total value of $185,280.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 35,272 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,633,799.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director John Joseph Crawford sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.68, for a total transaction of $45,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $644,042.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 7,000 shares of company stock worth $321,640 over the last three months. 1.53% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Webster Financial in the third quarter worth $48,000. Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new stake in Webster Financial during the third quarter worth $110,000. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Webster Financial by 9.6% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,275 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $157,000 after buying an additional 287 shares in the last quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC boosted its stake in Webster Financial by 21.9% during the third quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 3,747 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 674 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Menta Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Webster Financial during the second quarter worth $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.27% of the company’s stock.

Webster Financial Company Profile

Webster Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association that provides a range of banking, investment, and financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in the United States. It operates through three segments: Commercial Banking, HSA Bank, and Community Banking.

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