Short Interest in Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:EQH) Expands By 28.5%

Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:EQH) saw a large increase in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 22,740,000 shares, an increase of 28.5% from the March 15th total of 17,700,000 shares. Currently, 5.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,430,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.6 days.

Shares of NYSE:EQH opened at $32.64 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $32.30 and a 200-day simple moving average of $26.76. The company has a market capitalization of $13.98 billion, a PE ratio of -31.09 and a beta of 1.65. Equitable has a twelve month low of $14.08 and a twelve month high of $34.22.

Equitable (NYSE:EQH) last announced its earnings results on Monday, February 22nd. The company reported $1.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.44. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.37 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Equitable will post 4.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 4th were given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 3rd. Equitable’s payout ratio is 14.02%.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on EQH. UBS Group began coverage on Equitable in a research report on Tuesday. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on Equitable from $34.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 16th. Citigroup lifted their target price on Equitable from $34.00 to $38.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Equitable from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Equitable from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 24th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $32.17.

In other Equitable news, insider Nick Lane sold 23,352 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.46, for a total value of $734,653.92. Also, CFO Anders Malmstrom sold 200,880 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.82, for a total transaction of $6,592,881.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 289,632 shares of company stock valued at $9,466,524. 0.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Equitable in the fourth quarter valued at about $715,679,000. Viking Global Investors LP purchased a new stake in shares of Equitable during the 4th quarter worth approximately $99,138,000. FIL Ltd raised its holdings in Equitable by 653.1% during the fourth quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 4,387,186 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,268,000 after purchasing an additional 3,804,613 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Equitable by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 36,380,856 shares of the company’s stock worth $930,986,000 after buying an additional 1,440,184 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clark Capital Management Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Equitable by 2,648.0% in the fourth quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc. now owns 1,348,586 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,510,000 after purchasing an additional 1,299,511 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.91% of the company’s stock.

About Equitable

Equitable Holdings, Inc, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, operates as a diversified financial services company worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Investment Management and Research, and Protection Solutions. The Individual Retirement segment offers a suite of variable annuity products primarily to affluent and high net worth individuals.

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