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First American Financial Co. (NYSE:FAF) Short Interest Up 30.7% in October

Last updated on Sunday, November 22, 2020 | 2020 MarketBeat

First American Financial Co. (NYSE:FAF) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,960,000 shares, an increase of 30.7% from the October 15th total of 1,500,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 833,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.4 days. Approximately 1.8% of the company's stock are sold short.

Separately, Barclays increased their target price on First American Financial from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an "overweight" rating in a research note on Friday, October 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $58.17.

Shares of FAF opened at $50.66 on Friday. The business's fifty day moving average price is $49.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.36. First American Financial has a 12-month low of $29.36 and a 12-month high of $66.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.66 billion, a PE ratio of 8.95 and a beta of 1.16.

First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 22nd. The insurance provider reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $1.35 by ($0.04). First American Financial had a return on equity of 13.06% and a net margin of 9.61%. The firm had revenue of $1.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.65 earnings per share. The business's revenue for the quarter was up 14.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that First American Financial will post 5.05 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 7th. This is a boost from First American Financial's previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.63%. First American Financial's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.56%.

In related news, Director Mark C. Oman purchased 4,000 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction on Friday, October 23rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $47.78 per share, for a total transaction of $191,120.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 3.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FAF. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its position in First American Financial by 4.5% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 12,067 shares of the insurance provider's stock worth $580,000 after buying an additional 515 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its position in First American Financial by 304.4% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 9,806 shares of the insurance provider's stock worth $471,000 after buying an additional 7,381 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. increased its position in First American Financial by 140.1% in the second quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 52,000 shares of the insurance provider's stock worth $2,497,000 after buying an additional 30,343 shares during the period. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP increased its position in First American Financial by 0.4% in the second quarter. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP now owns 96,357 shares of the insurance provider's stock worth $4,627,000 after buying an additional 387 shares during the period. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in First American Financial in the second quarter worth $129,000. 83.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About First American Financial

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments. The Title Insurance and Services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property, as well as offers related products and services.

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