Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) Short Interest Update

Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) saw a large drop in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,784,700 shares, a drop of 17.1% from the May 30th total of 4,564,300 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,030,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.7 days. Currently, 4.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of NYSE LM traded up $0.43 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $38.69. 48,100 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 657,725. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 1.36 and a current ratio of 1.82. Legg Mason has a twelve month low of $23.25 and a twelve month high of $38.82. The company has a market cap of $3.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.69, a PEG ratio of 0.71 and a beta of 1.50. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $37.04.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last issued its earnings results on Monday, May 13th. The asset manager reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.16. Legg Mason had a positive return on equity of 7.30% and a negative net margin of 0.98%. The business had revenue of $692.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $699.24 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.86 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Legg Mason will post 3.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 22nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 1st. This is a positive change from Legg Mason’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. Legg Mason’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 52.63%.

In other news, CAO Ursula Schliessler sold 3,608 shares of Legg Mason stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.03, for a total value of $129,996.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 27,495 shares in the company, valued at approximately $990,644.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Terence Johnson sold 18,525 shares of Legg Mason stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.21, for a total value of $670,790.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 124,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,500,903. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 63,378 shares of company stock valued at $2,292,180 over the last 90 days. 8.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LM. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Legg Mason by 1.1% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,588,957 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $40,534,000 after purchasing an additional 18,026 shares in the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund raised its holdings in Legg Mason by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 55,969 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,203 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 5.9% in the 4th quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 53,455 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,266,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC increased its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 7.9% in the 4th quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 22,439 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $573,000 after acquiring an additional 1,641 shares in the last quarter. Finally, United Services Automobile Association increased its stake in shares of Legg Mason by 12.3% in the 4th quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 21,812 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $556,000 after acquiring an additional 2,383 shares in the last quarter. 84.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on LM shares. Zacks Investment Research cut GreenTree Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Gabelli reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Legg Mason in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. ValuEngine cut Viewray from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley set a $100.00 price objective on Cimarex Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Flexion Therapeutics in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $33.22.

About Legg Mason

Legg Mason, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides investment management and related services to company-sponsored mutual funds and other investment vehicles including pension funds, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, private banks, family offices, individuals, as well as to global, institutional, and retail clients.

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