Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) Short Interest Down 6.6% in December

Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) saw a significant decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 7,660,000 shares, a decline of 6.6% from the December 15th total of 8,200,000 shares. Currently, 2.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,150,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.4 days.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Graphic Packaging by 9.7% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,593,172 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $204,013,000 after purchasing an additional 1,285,105 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Graphic Packaging by 7.4% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 11,055,585 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $163,070,000 after buying an additional 764,286 shares in the last quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. boosted its position in Graphic Packaging by 184.5% in the third quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. now owns 9,348,153 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $137,885,000 after buying an additional 6,062,585 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its position in Graphic Packaging by 1.2% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 6,611,734 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $92,432,000 after buying an additional 78,640 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Manning & Napier Group LLC boosted its position in Graphic Packaging by 3,412.8% in the fourth quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC now owns 4,264,405 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $71,001,000 after buying an additional 4,143,009 shares in the last quarter.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on shares of Graphic Packaging from $15.00 to $17.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research note on Wednesday, December 11th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Graphic Packaging from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graphic Packaging from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research note on Thursday, September 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.25.

Shares of NYSE GPK traded down $0.04 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $16.72. 37,437 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,187,760. Graphic Packaging has a fifty-two week low of $11.46 and a fifty-two week high of $16.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 1.62 and a quick ratio of 0.64. The firm has a market cap of $4.82 billion, a PE ratio of 20.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.39. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $16.50 and a 200-day simple moving average of $15.05.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The industrial products company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 3.60% and a return on equity of 12.72%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.22 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Graphic Packaging will post 0.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Sunday, December 15th were given a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.79%. Graphic Packaging’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.04%.

About Graphic Packaging

Graphic Packaging Holding Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides paper-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies. It operates through three segments: Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, and Europe Paperboard Packaging. The company offers coated unbleached kraft (CUK), coated recycled paperboard (CRB), and solid bleached sulfate paperboard (SBS) to various paperboard packaging converters and brokers; and paperboard packaging folding cartons and cups, lids, and food containers primarily to consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants, and foodservice companies.

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