Lancaster Colony Co. (NASDAQ:LANC – Get Free Report) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 657,600 shares, a growth of 10.0% from the October 15th total of 597,800 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 145,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.5 days. Currently, 3.4% of the shares of the company are short sold.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On Lancaster Colony
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LANC. William Blair Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Lancaster Colony by 55.3% in the 1st quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,162,905 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,930,000 after buying an additional 414,040 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Lancaster Colony by 20.2% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,443,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $367,271,000 after acquiring an additional 410,104 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lancaster Colony by 6.1% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,559,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $519,187,000 after purchasing an additional 147,890 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its stake in shares of Lancaster Colony by 2,591.5% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 141,009 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,355,000 after purchasing an additional 135,770 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in shares of Lancaster Colony by 76.1% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 269,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,089,000 after purchasing an additional 116,274 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.49% of the company’s stock.
Lancaster Colony Stock Up 0.6 %
LANC stock traded up $1.00 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $167.13. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 51,604 shares, compared to its average volume of 145,183. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.00 and a beta of 0.29. Lancaster Colony has a 12 month low of $158.88 and a 12 month high of $220.65. The company has a 50 day moving average of $168.43 and a two-hundred day moving average of $184.34.
Lancaster Colony Increases Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Monday, December 4th will be given a $0.90 dividend. This is an increase from Lancaster Colony’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.85. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 1st. Lancaster Colony’s payout ratio is currently 79.81%.
Analyst Ratings Changes
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Loop Capital cut their price objective on Lancaster Colony from $237.00 to $226.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Stephens began coverage on shares of Lancaster Colony in a research report on Friday, October 13th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $205.00 price target for the company. TheStreet upgraded shares of Lancaster Colony from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Lancaster Colony in a report on Thursday, October 5th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company.
Lancaster Colony Company Profile
Lancaster Colony Corporation engages in the manufacturing and marketing of specialty food products for the retail and foodservice channels in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail and Foodservice. The company offers frozen garlic bread under the New York BRAND Bakery; frozen Parkerhouse style yeast and dinner rolls under the Sister Schubert's brand; salad dressings under the Marzetti, Simply Dressed, Cardini's, and Girard's brands; vegetable and fruit dips under the Marzetti brand; croutons and salad toppings under the New York BRAND Bakery, Chatham Village, and Marzetti brands; and frozen pasta under the Marzetti Frozen Pasta brand.
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