Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENTA) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Central Garden & Pet Co (NASDAQ:CENTA) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 627,300 shares, an increase of 13.5% from the July 31st total of 552,800 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 286,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.2 days. Currently, 1.5% of the company’s stock are sold short.

CENTA traded up $0.03 during trading on Friday, reaching $26.88. The stock had a trading volume of 277,224 shares, compared to its average volume of 325,003. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a quick ratio of 3.17, a current ratio of 4.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. Central Garden & Pet has a 1-year low of $20.50 and a 1-year high of $36.96. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $23.67 and a two-hundred day moving average of $25.01.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENTA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The company reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.06). Central Garden & Pet had a return on equity of 9.66% and a net margin of 4.30%. The firm had revenue of $706.58 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $689.17 million. On average, research analysts forecast that Central Garden & Pet will post 1.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on CENTA shares. BidaskClub raised Central Garden & Pet from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Monness Crespi & Hardt reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price (down from $44.00) on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Central Garden & Pet from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 20th. Finally, KeyCorp reduced their price objective on Central Garden & Pet from $39.00 to $36.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $38.50.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 3.7% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 13,176 shares of the company’s stock worth $306,000 after acquiring an additional 464 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 1.2% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 42,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,013,000 after acquiring an additional 486 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 6.2% during the first quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 10,339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $240,000 after acquiring an additional 606 shares during the period. Systematic Financial Management LP boosted its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 2.3% during the first quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 28,345 shares of the company’s stock valued at $659,000 after acquiring an additional 627 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers boosted its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 0.7% during the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 118,022 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,744,000 after acquiring an additional 766 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 67.12% of the company’s stock.

Central Garden & Pet Company Profile

Central Garden & Pet Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and distributes products for the lawn and garden, and pet supplies markets in the United States. It operates through two segments, Pet and Garden. The Pet segment supplies products for dogs and cats, including edible bones, edible and non-edible chews, dog and cat food and treats, toys, pet carriers, grooming supplies, and other accessories; and products for birds, small animals, and specialty pets, such as food, cages and habitats, toys, chews, and related accessories.

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