Franchise Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRG) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 932,300 shares, an increase of 21.3% from the November 30th total of 768,700 shares. Approximately 3.4% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 204,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.6 days.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRG. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Franchise Group by 12.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,216,791 shares of the company's stock valued at $78,186,000 after acquiring an additional 241,948 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Franchise Group by 53.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 645,603 shares of the company's stock valued at $23,005,000 after acquiring an additional 224,180 shares during the period. Punch & Associates Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Franchise Group by 33.9% in the 2nd quarter. Punch & Associates Investment Management Inc. now owns 733,415 shares of the company's stock valued at $25,868,000 after acquiring an additional 185,804 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP purchased a new stake in shares of Franchise Group in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $5,839,000. Finally, Capital Management Corp VA purchased a new stake in shares of Franchise Group in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $5,550,000. 73.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
FRG has been the topic of several analyst reports. Barrington Research raised their price target on shares of Franchise Group from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an "outperform" rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 8th. Aegis raised their price target on shares of Franchise Group from $50.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a "buy" rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Franchise Group from a "strong-buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a research report on Monday, December 6th. Finally, B. Riley lifted their target price on shares of Franchise Group from $58.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a "buy" rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of "Buy" and an average target price of $56.33.
FRG stock traded down $0.03 during trading on Friday, reaching $52.95. 4,729 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 174,279. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $48.85 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.17. Franchise Group has a 1 year low of $30.39 and a 1 year high of $55.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.55, a P/E/G ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.81.
Franchise Group (NASDAQ:FRG) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts' consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.17. Franchise Group had a net margin of 7.56% and a return on equity of 25.25%. The company had revenue of $828.83 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $799.24 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.22) earnings per share. On average, research analysts anticipate that Franchise Group will post 3.81 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.625 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 30th. This is an increase from Franchise Group's previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $2.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.72%. Franchise Group's payout ratio is 49.80%.
About Franchise Group
Franchise Group, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of tax return preparation and related services and products. It operates through the following segments: Vitamin Shoppe, American Freight, Liberty Tax and Buddy's. The Vitamin Shoppe segment is an omni-channel specialty retailer of vitamins, herbs, specialty supplements, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products.
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