Short Interest in Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) Rises By 66.0%

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) was the target of a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 15,927,800 shares, an increase of 66.0% from the April 30th total of 9,597,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,550,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.9 days. Currently, 2.3% of the company’s stock are short sold.

SYF has been the subject of several analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research note on Wednesday, March 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Synchrony Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 18th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Synchrony Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $39.00 price objective on shares of Synchrony Financial in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Nomura increased their price objective on shares of Synchrony Financial from $35.00 to $39.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $37.47.

In related news, insider David P. Melito sold 3,204 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.00, for a total value of $108,936.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 29,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,002,184. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider David P. Melito sold 6,014 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.25, for a total transaction of $205,979.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,476 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,009,553. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Wilsey Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Synchrony Financial by 9.1% during the 1st quarter. Wilsey Asset Management Inc. now owns 417,539 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,392,000 after purchasing an additional 34,936 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Synchrony Financial in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $675,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Synchrony Financial in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $168,722,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Synchrony Financial by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 113,612 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,624,000 after buying an additional 623 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kinneret Advisory LLC purchased a new position in Synchrony Financial in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $88,000. Institutional investors own 84.85% of the company’s stock.

Shares of SYF stock traded up $0.27 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $34.22. 84,475 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,514,970. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $34.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49, a current ratio of 1.39 and a quick ratio of 1.27. Synchrony Financial has a 52-week low of $21.77 and a 52-week high of $35.50. The firm has a market cap of $23.40 billion, a PE ratio of 9.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 1.23.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.12. Synchrony Financial had a net margin of 17.52% and a return on equity of 19.79%. The company had revenue of $4.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.83 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Synchrony Financial will post 4.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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About Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. The company offers private label credit cards, dual cards, general purpose co-branded credit cards, and small and medium-sized business credit products; and promotional financing for consumer purchases, such as private label credit cards and installment loans.

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