Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) Short Interest Up 43.4% in April


Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL – Get Rating) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totaling 6,080,000 shares, a growth of 43.4% from the April 15th total of 4,240,000 shares. Currently, 0.2% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,960,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.5 days.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Unilever by 1.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,057,306 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,195,946,000 after acquiring an additional 362,850 shares in the last quarter. GQG Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Unilever in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $391,267,000. Pendal Group Ltd lifted its position in shares of Unilever by 29,662.4% in the fourth quarter. Pendal Group Ltd now owns 5,689,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $303,662,000 after acquiring an additional 5,669,969 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Unilever by 24.3% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 4,922,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $224,330,000 after acquiring an additional 962,570 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in shares of Unilever by 5.2% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,828,818 shares of the company’s stock valued at $220,049,000 after acquiring an additional 239,905 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 16.81% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on UL shares. StockNews.com lowered Unilever from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 2nd. The Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Unilever in a report on Friday, February 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein raised Unilever from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, March 14th. Societe Generale raised Unilever from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Unilever from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.51.

UL stock traded up $0.98 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $46.17. 3,320,586 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,061,476. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $45.28 and its 200 day moving average is $49.67. Unilever has a 12-month low of $43.11 and a 12-month high of $61.81.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.451 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 19th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.91%.

About Unilever (GetRating)

Unilever PLC operates as a fast-moving consumer goods company. It operates through Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment, and Home Care segments. The Beauty & Personal Care segment provides skin care and hair care products, deodorants, and skin cleansing products. The Foods & Refreshment segment offers ice cream, soups, bouillons, seasonings, mayonnaise, ketchups, and tea categories.

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