Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,158,000 shares, an increase of 41.7% from the July 31st total of 5,757,500 shares. Currently, 3.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,930,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.2 days.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Unum Group by 15.1% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,344,324 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $98,111,000 after acquiring an additional 438,390 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Unum Group by 2.1% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 17,318 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $586,000 after buying an additional 364 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in Unum Group by 7.6% in the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 61,649 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,086,000 after buying an additional 4,343 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank increased its holdings in Unum Group by 1.4% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 45,834 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,621,000 after buying an additional 634 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gamco Investors INC. ET AL purchased a new position in Unum Group in the first quarter valued at $511,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.61% of the company’s stock.

UNM stock traded up $0.45 during trading on Friday, hitting $29.77. The stock had a trading volume of 2,777,573 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,017,210. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a current ratio of 0.17 and a quick ratio of 0.17. Unum Group has a twelve month low of $24.71 and a twelve month high of $40.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 5.73, a PEG ratio of 0.58 and a beta of 1.56. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $27.98 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $33.06.

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.99 billion. Unum Group had a return on equity of 12.90% and a net margin of 4.46%. Unum Group’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.30 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Unum Group will post 5.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 29th were issued a dividend of $0.285 per share. This is a boost from Unum Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. This represents a $1.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.83%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, July 26th. Unum Group’s payout ratio is currently 21.92%.

UNM has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Barclays set a $36.00 price target on Unum Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Unum Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, May 30th. TheStreet cut Unum Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Unum Group in a report on Wednesday, July 10th. They issued an “underperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Unum Group from $40.00 to $37.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Unum Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $37.00.

About Unum Group

Unum Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection benefit solutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally. It operates through Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, and Closed Block segments. The company offers group long-term and short-term disability, group life, and accidental death and dismemberment products; supplemental and voluntary products, such as individual disability, voluntary benefits, and dental and vision products; and accident, sickness, disability, life, and cancer and critical illness products.

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