Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF) Short Interest Update

Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,900,000 shares, a growth of 9.2% from the December 15th total of 1,740,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 170,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 11.2 days. Currently, 7.5% of the company’s shares are short sold.

NYSE:GEF traded down $0.09 on Thursday, reaching $46.32. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,831 shares, compared to its average volume of 175,521. Greif has a 12-month low of $29.85 and a 12-month high of $50.37. The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.23. The firm has a market cap of $2.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.43. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $44.04 and a 200 day moving average price of $38.51.

Greif (NYSE:GEF) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, December 4th. The industrial products company reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. Greif had a return on equity of 20.02% and a net margin of 3.72%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $3.53 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Greif will post 3.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 18th were issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 17th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.80%. Greif’s dividend payout ratio is presently 44.44%.

A number of research firms have commented on GEF. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Greif from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $46.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Tuesday. ValuEngine upgraded Greif from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, December 30th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Greif from $28.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 12th. TheStreet upgraded Greif from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, December 9th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Greif from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, December 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.17.

In related news, CFO Lawrence A. Hilsheimer acquired 3,863 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 16th. The shares were bought at an average price of $44.86 per share, with a total value of $173,294.18. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 104,445 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,685,402.70. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 13.56% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Greif by 19.8% in the 2nd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,954 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 1,151 shares during the period. Laurion Capital Management LP raised its holdings in shares of Greif by 8.2% in the 2nd quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP now owns 17,745 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $578,000 after buying an additional 1,349 shares during the period. Dupont Capital Management Corp raised its holdings in shares of Greif by 92.0% in the 3rd quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 4,142 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 1,985 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of Greif by 43.4% in the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,903 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $262,000 after buying an additional 2,088 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its holdings in shares of Greif by 57.8% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 7,100 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $231,000 after buying an additional 2,600 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.07% of the company’s stock.

About Greif

Greif, Inc produces and sells industrial packaging products and services worldwide. It operates through four segments: Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services; Paper Packaging & Services; Flexible Products & Services; and Land Management. The Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment offers rigid industrial packaging products, including steel, fiber, and plastic drums; rigid intermediate bulk containers; closure systems for industrial packaging products; transit protection products; water bottles, and remanufactured and reconditioned industrial containers; and services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing, and other packaging services.

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