Short Interest in Popular Inc (NASDAQ:BPOP) Drops By 14.4%

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Popular Inc (NASDAQ:BPOP) was the target of a large drop in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,190,000 shares, a drop of 14.4% from the December 15th total of 1,390,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 532,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.2 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In other Popular news, VP Jorge J. Garcia sold 3,262 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.12, for a total value of $179,801.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Joaquin E. Bacardi III sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $385,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 29,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,634,710. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 33,961 shares of company stock valued at $1,890,377. 1.33% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Popular by 7.8% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,489,734 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $80,803,000 after acquiring an additional 107,454 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Popular by 702.3% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 688,748 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $37,357,000 after acquiring an additional 602,904 shares during the last quarter. Raging Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Popular by 16.1% during the 3rd quarter. Raging Capital Management LLC now owns 614,225 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $33,217,000 after acquiring an additional 85,125 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of Popular by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 581,300 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $31,437,000 after acquiring an additional 32,595 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Popular by 19,714.2% during the 3rd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 568,811 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $30,761,000 after acquiring an additional 571,711 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.74% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BPOP opened at $59.90 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $5.78 billion, a PE ratio of 12.56 and a beta of 1.19. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $57.83 and a 200-day moving average price of $55.31. Popular has a 12-month low of $48.17 and a 12-month high of $60.85.

Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $1.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.60 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $619.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $624.80 million. Popular had a return on equity of 11.40% and a net margin of 21.47%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.38 EPS.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 5th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 4th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.00%. Popular’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.16%.

Several brokerages have commented on BPOP. ValuEngine upgraded Popular from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Popular from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 24th. BidaskClub downgraded Popular from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. Finally, BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $69.00 target price on shares of Popular in a research note on Tuesday.

Popular Company Profile

Popular, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides various retail, mortgage, and commercial banking products and services. The company accepts various deposit products. It also offers commercial and industrial loans; commercial real estate loans; residential mortgage loans; consumer loans, including personal loans, credit cards, automobile loans, home equity lines of credit, and other loans to individual borrowers; construction loans; and lease financing comprising automobile loans/leases.

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