Prudential plc (NYSE:PUK) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

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Prudential plc (NYSE:PUK) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 576,500 shares, a drop of 9.5% from the August 31st total of 636,700 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 268,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.1 days.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Prudential by 38.2% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 51,134 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,057,000 after purchasing an additional 14,140 shares during the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. increased its holdings in Prudential by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 62,317 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,544,000 after acquiring an additional 2,289 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Prudential by 86.7% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 63,007 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,560,000 after acquiring an additional 29,258 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in Prudential by 7.3% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 715,805 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $17,738,000 after acquiring an additional 48,963 shares in the last quarter. Finally, HBK Sorce Advisory LLC increased its holdings in Prudential by 26.1% in the 1st quarter. HBK Sorce Advisory LLC now owns 9,407 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $233,000 after acquiring an additional 1,946 shares in the last quarter. 1.68% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of PUK traded up $0.59 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $29.24. The company had a trading volume of 188,989 shares, compared to its average volume of 573,378. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $30.72 and a 200-day simple moving average of $28.27. The company has a quick ratio of 0.02, a current ratio of 0.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market cap of $38.01 billion, a PE ratio of 8.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.45. Prudential has a 1-year low of $15.68 and a 1-year high of $42.55.

The firm also recently disclosed a semi-annual dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 28th. Investors of record on Friday, August 21st were given a dividend of $0.1074 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 1.9%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 20th. Prudential’s payout ratio is 29.63%.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Prudential from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 28th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Prudential in a research report on Friday, August 14th. Barclays reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Prudential in a research report on Tuesday, September 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Prudential in a research report on Monday, August 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating on shares of Prudential in a research report on Tuesday, September 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $33.00.

Prudential Company Profile

Prudential plc, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of long-term savings and protection products in Asia, the United States, and Africa. The company offers health and protection, as well as savings products, such as participating, linked, and other traditional products; and life insurance. It also provides variable, fixed, and fixed index annuities; and guaranteed investment contracts and funding agreements.

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