Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,650,000 shares, a growth of 17.7% from the January 15th total of 3,100,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,620,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.3 days. Approximately 0.2% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NVS. West Bancorporation Inc. bought a new stake in Novartis during the fourth quarter worth about $26,000. Atlas Private Wealth Management purchased a new position in shares of Novartis in the fourth quarter worth about $26,000. Tsfg LLC increased its holdings in shares of Novartis by 94.3% in the fourth quarter. Tsfg LLC now owns 309 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Cedar Mountain Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Novartis in the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Finally, Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA increased its holdings in shares of Novartis by 330.4% in the third quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 340 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. 10.61% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NVS stock traded down $0.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $97.63. 1,058,200 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,886,026. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 0.83. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $95.21 and a 200 day moving average price of $90.85. Novartis has a 12 month low of $74.97 and a 12 month high of $99.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $223.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.33, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.64.

The company also recently declared an annual dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 4th will be paid a dividend of $3.0425 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 3rd. This represents a yield of 2%. This is a positive change from Novartis’s previous annual dividend of $2.86. Novartis’s payout ratio is 35.11%.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine raised Novartis from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 19th. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Novartis in a research note on Friday, October 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $93.34.

Novartis Company Profile

Novartis AG researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company's Innovative Medicines segment offers patented prescription medicines for patients and healthcare providers. It also provides ophthalmology, neuroscience, immunology, hepatology and dermatology, respiratory, cardio-metabolic, and established medicine products.

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