Benchmark Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:BHE) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of October. As of October 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,951,408 shares, an increase of 74.2% from the September 28th total of 1,120,276 shares. Approximately 4.2% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 578,161 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.4 days.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Benchmark Electronics by 2.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,568,032 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $191,459,000 after acquiring an additional 133,780 shares during the last quarter. Engaged Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Benchmark Electronics by 25.1% during the second quarter. Engaged Capital LLC now owns 1,366,874 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $39,844,000 after purchasing an additional 274,164 shares in the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP lifted its holdings in shares of Benchmark Electronics by 18.0% during the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,336,568 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $38,961,000 after purchasing an additional 203,868 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Benchmark Electronics by 12.8% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 592,425 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $17,270,000 after purchasing an additional 67,336 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its holdings in shares of Benchmark Electronics by 24.8% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 505,806 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $14,745,000 after purchasing an additional 100,491 shares in the last quarter. 94.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
NYSE BHE opened at $21.83 on Thursday. Benchmark Electronics has a 12 month low of $21.78 and a 12 month high of $32.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a PE ratio of 13.56 and a beta of 0.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a quick ratio of 2.44 and a current ratio of 3.08.
Benchmark Electronics announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, October 30th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the technology company to repurchase up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 28th were paid a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 27th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.75%. Benchmark Electronics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.27%.
Separately, Citigroup cut their target price on Benchmark Electronics from $30.00 to $25.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday.
About Benchmark Electronics
Benchmark Electronics, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides engineering services, integrated technology solutions, and manufacturing services in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The company offers engineering services and technology solutions, including new product design, prototype, testing, and related engineering services; and custom testing, and automation equipment design and build services.
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