Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) Short Interest Up 17.8% in March

Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPKGet Free Report) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 13,810,000 shares, a growth of 17.8% from the February 29th total of 11,720,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,840,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.9 days.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Graphic Packaging news, EVP Joseph P. Yost sold 70,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.20, for a total transaction of $1,834,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 205,231 shares in the company, valued at $5,377,052.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional Trading of Graphic Packaging

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPK. Principal Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in Graphic Packaging in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $26,000. OLD Point Trust & Financial Services N A purchased a new position in Graphic Packaging in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $27,000. ST Germain D J Co. Inc. purchased a new position in Graphic Packaging in the second quarter valued at approximately $29,000. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Graphic Packaging by 870.7% in the third quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,291 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $29,000 after purchasing an additional 1,158 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in Graphic Packaging in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.67% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on GPK shares. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Graphic Packaging from $29.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Robert W. Baird upped their price objective on shares of Graphic Packaging from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “underweight” rating and issued a $21.00 price objective on shares of Graphic Packaging in a report on Monday. Finally, StockNews.com lowered shares of Graphic Packaging from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Graphic Packaging presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.22.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on GPK

Graphic Packaging Stock Down 0.9 %

Shares of GPK traded down $0.26 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.41. 134,938 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,916,238. The company has a market cap of $8.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.20 and a beta of 0.84. Graphic Packaging has a fifty-two week low of $20.07 and a fifty-two week high of $29.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.42 and a current ratio of 1.10. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $26.42 and its 200-day moving average is $24.21.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPKGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The industrial products company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.40 billion. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 7.67% and a return on equity of 35.66%. The firm’s revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.59 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Graphic Packaging will post 2.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Graphic Packaging Announces Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.41%. Graphic Packaging’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 17.02%.

About Graphic Packaging

(Get Free Report)

Graphic Packaging Holding Company, together with its subsidiaries, designs, produces, and sells consumer packaging products to brands in food, beverage, foodservice, household, and other consumer products. It operates through three segments: Paperboard Manufacturing, Americas Paperboard Packaging, and Europe Paperboard Packaging.

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