Heritage Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HFWA) Short Interest Update

Heritage Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HFWA) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,410,000 shares, a growth of 9.0% from the December 15th total of 2,210,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 145,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 16.6 days. Currently, 6.7% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Heritage Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Heritage Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday. DA Davidson downgraded Heritage Financial from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. Finally, Stephens restated a “hold” rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Heritage Financial in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.67.

Shares of NASDAQ:HFWA traded up $0.37 on Thursday, reaching $27.87. The company had a trading volume of 3,682 shares, compared to its average volume of 156,540. Heritage Financial has a twelve month low of $25.24 and a twelve month high of $33.22. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $27.89 and a 200 day moving average price of $27.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.84 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03.

Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.01. Heritage Financial had a return on equity of 8.67% and a net margin of 26.72%. The company had revenue of $58.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $59.04 million. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Heritage Financial will post 1.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider David A. Spurling sold 8,661 shares of Heritage Financial stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.47, for a total transaction of $237,917.67. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 20,299 shares in the company, valued at $557,613.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in HFWA. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its position in shares of Heritage Financial by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 11,611 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $313,000 after purchasing an additional 473 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Heritage Financial by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 57,113 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,540,000 after purchasing an additional 723 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Heritage Financial by 5.8% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 146,550 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,951,000 after purchasing an additional 8,034 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Heritage Financial by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,142,149 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $30,792,000 after purchasing an additional 25,674 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Heritage Financial by 13.0% during the 3rd quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 12,523 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $338,000 after purchasing an additional 1,438 shares during the last quarter. 80.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Heritage Financial Company Profile

Heritage Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various financial services to businesses and individuals in the United States. The company accepts various deposit products, such as noninterest demand accounts, interest bearing demand deposits, money market accounts, savings accounts, personal checking accounts, and certificates of deposit.

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