TransAlta Co. (NYSE:TAC) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

TransAlta Co. (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of February. As of February 14th, there was short interest totalling 1,800,000 shares, an increase of 39.5% from the January 30th total of 1,290,000 shares. Approximately 0.7% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 304,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.9 days.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on TAC shares. CIBC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of TransAlta in a research report on Thursday, January 30th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded TransAlta from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 16th. Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of TransAlta in a research report on Friday, February 7th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded TransAlta from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $13.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded TransAlta from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 20th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. TransAlta currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $10.15.

Shares of NYSE TAC traded down $0.34 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $7.92. 770,300 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 441,179. TransAlta has a 12-month low of $5.69 and a 12-month high of $8.50. The company has a current ratio of 2.02, a quick ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The company has a market cap of $2.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -22.00 and a beta of 1.21. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $7.56 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $6.78.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.033 per share. This is a positive change from TransAlta’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 28th. This represents a $0.13 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.67%. TransAlta’s payout ratio is presently -22.64%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bluescape Energy Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of TransAlta during the fourth quarter worth about $60,125,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 727.3% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 7,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $50,000 after purchasing an additional 6,720 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp purchased a new position in shares of TransAlta during the third quarter worth about $73,000. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 13.1% during the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 16,773,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $109,151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,938,389 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. purchased a new position in shares of TransAlta during the second quarter worth about $472,000. 53.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About TransAlta

TransAlta Corporation operates as non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. It operates through eight segments: Canadian Coal, U.S. Coal, Canadian Gas, Australian Gas, Wind and Solar, Hydro, Energy Marketing, and Corporate. The company generates and markets electricity through various generation fuels, such as coal, natural gas, water, solar, and wind.

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