Short Interest in Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) Decreases By 17.1%

Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,784,700 shares, a drop of 17.1% from the May 30th total of 4,564,300 shares. Approximately 4.5% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,030,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.7 days.

In other news, insider Joseph A. Sullivan sold 26,470 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.18, for a total value of $957,684.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Ursula Schliessler sold 3,608 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.03, for a total value of $129,996.24. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 27,495 shares in the company, valued at $990,644.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 63,378 shares of company stock worth $2,292,180. Insiders own 8.08% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of LM. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the fourth quarter worth about $104,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the first quarter worth about $132,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC grew its holdings in shares of Legg Mason by 9.8% during the fourth quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 6,261 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 559 shares during the last quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the fourth quarter worth about $205,000. Finally, KMG Fiduciary Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the first quarter worth about $208,000. 84.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of research firms have weighed in on LM. Morgan Stanley set a $100.00 price target on Cimarex Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Flexion Therapeutics in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Zacks Investment Research cut GreenTree Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. ValuEngine cut Viewray from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, Gabelli restated a “buy” rating on shares of Legg Mason in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $33.22.

Shares of LM stock traded up $0.42 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $38.68. 685,131 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 659,420. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $37.07. The company has a market capitalization of $3.31 billion, a PE ratio of 12.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.71 and a beta of 1.50. Legg Mason has a 12-month low of $23.25 and a 12-month high of $38.82. The company has a quick ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 1.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 13th. The asset manager reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $692.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $699.24 million. Legg Mason had a positive return on equity of 7.30% and a negative net margin of 0.98%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 11.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Legg Mason will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 22nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This is a positive change from Legg Mason’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 1st. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.14%. Legg Mason’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.63%.

Legg Mason Company Profile

Legg Mason, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides investment management and related services to company-sponsored mutual funds and other investment vehicles including pension funds, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, private banks, family offices, individuals, as well as to global, institutional, and retail clients.

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