Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 25,031,961 shares, a decline of 12.7% from the March 15th total of 28,672,400 shares. Currently, 8.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 3,259,873 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.7 days.
In other news, Director Robert Hagemann bought 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $12.25 per share, with a total value of $183,750.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 65,329 shares in the company, valued at $800,280.25. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.72% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in GPK. Shapiro Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Graphic Packaging by 111.8% during the fourth quarter. Shapiro Capital Management LLC now owns 15,308,944 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $162,887,000 after buying an additional 8,080,950 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in shares of Graphic Packaging by 67.0% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 10,075,903 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $107,208,000 after buying an additional 4,042,963 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Graphic Packaging during the fourth quarter valued at about $40,465,000. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Graphic Packaging by 9.2% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,209,385 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $236,308,000 after buying an additional 1,869,647 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its position in shares of Graphic Packaging by 30.6% during the fourth quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 7,764,485 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $82,614,000 after buying an additional 1,818,515 shares during the last quarter.
Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The industrial products company reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.51 billion. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 11.67%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 35.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.17 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Graphic Packaging will post 0.85 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. Graphic Packaging’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on GPK shares. UBS Group started coverage on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research report on Friday, January 4th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $11.50 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Graphic Packaging from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Graphic Packaging from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Graphic Packaging presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $16.13.
Graphic Packaging Company Profile
Graphic Packaging Holding Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides paper-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies. It operates through three segments: Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, and Europe Paperboard Packaging. The company offers coated unbleached kraft (CUK), coated recycled paperboard (CRB), and solid bleached sulfate paperboard (SBS) to various paperboard packaging converters and brokers; and paperboard packaging folding cartons and cups, lids, and food containers primarily to consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants, and foodservice companies.
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