Short Interest in First Data Corporation (FDC) Declines By 15.2%

First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 19,687,441 shares, a drop of 15.2% from the October 13th total of 23,206,623 shares. Currently, 5.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 7,503,064 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.6 days.

Shares of First Data (NYSE FDC) remained flat at $$16.25 during trading hours on Wednesday. 5,722,031 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,458,249. First Data has a twelve month low of $13.96 and a twelve month high of $19.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,747.75, a P/E ratio of 12.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.51.

First Data (NYSE:FDC) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The business services provider reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40. First Data had a return on equity of 26.60% and a net margin of 5.99%. The company had revenue of $3.08 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.08 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.34 earnings per share. First Data’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that First Data will post 1.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Thomas Joseph Higgins sold 31,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.15, for a total value of $575,681.70. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 347,493 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,306,997.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Andrew Gelb sold 7,473 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.12, for a total value of $127,937.76. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 417,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,150,202.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have bought 25,200 shares of company stock valued at $423,964 and have sold 77,445 shares valued at $1,394,613. Company insiders own 6.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in First Data by 2.0% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 17,940 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $327,000 after acquiring an additional 348 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in First Data by 8.9% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 5,558 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 452 shares in the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC increased its position in First Data by 3.5% in the second quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 17,950 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $327,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. increased its position in First Data by 4.4% in the second quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 16,538 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $300,000 after buying an additional 691 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp increased its position in First Data by 5.7% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 16,680 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $303,000 after buying an additional 895 shares in the last quarter. 49.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have weighed in on FDC. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of First Data in a research report on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks lowered their price objective on First Data to $19.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective (up previously from $22.00) on shares of First Data in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. BidaskClub raised First Data from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on First Data from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $19.61.

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About First Data

First Data Corporation is a provider of commerce-enabling technology and solutions for merchants, financial institutions and card issuers. The Company’s segments are Global Business Solutions (GBS), Global Financial Solutions (GFS), Network & Security Solutions (NSS), and Corporate. The GBS segment provides businesses of all sizes and types with a range of solutions at the point of sale, including merchant acquiring, e-commerce, mobile commerce, point-of-sale, and other business solutions.

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