Flowers Foods Inc. (FLO) Short Interest Up 13.4% in August

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Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE:FLO) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 24,910,944 shares, a growth of 13.4% from the August 15th total of 21,973,730 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,870,142 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 8.7 days. Currently, 13.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.
Shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) opened at 15.42 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $3.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.54 and a beta of 0.68. Flowers Foods has a 1-year low of $14.35 and a 1-year high of $27.31. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $16.02 and a 200 day moving average price of $17.89.
Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 10th. The company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.26. The company earned $935 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $948.98 million. Flowers Foods had a net margin of 4.80% and a return on equity of 16.39%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.25 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Flowers Foods will post $0.91 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.15%. Flowers Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 72.73%.
Several research firms have recently issued reports on FLO. Pivotal Research reduced their price target on Flowers Foods from $8.00 to $4.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $19.00 price target on Flowers Foods and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. KeyCorp started coverage on Flowers Foods in a research report on Wednesday, May 25th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Jefferies Group dropped their price objective on Flowers Foods from $23.00 to $20.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Flowers Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.00.
In related news, Chairman Amos R. Mcmullian purchased 30,000 shares of Flowers Foods stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $14.99 per share, for a total transaction of $449,700.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,650,940 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $54,727,590.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider George E. Deese sold 462,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.14, for a total value of $7,002,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 3,288,625 shares in the company, valued at $49,789,782.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 16.87% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FLO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 4.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,262,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $286,171,000 after buying an additional 627,379 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 2.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 6,473,027 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,369,000 after buying an additional 161,456 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 4.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 5,485,227 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,848,000 after buying an additional 217,116 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods during the second quarter valued at $94,985,000. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 1.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,922,237 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,861,000 after buying an additional 76,579 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 69.13% of the company’s stock.
Flowers Foods Company Profile
Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment’s production plant locations include Birmingham, Alabama; Opelika, Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Jamestown, North Carolina, and Oxford, Pennsylvania.

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