Fidelity Southern Co. (NASDAQ:LION) was the target of a significant drop in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 360,746 shares, a drop of 34.2% from the February 15th total of 548,035 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 225,107 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.6 days. Approximately 1.6% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Fidelity Southern from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Fidelity Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 17th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill upgraded Fidelity Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $29.33.

In other Fidelity Southern news, Director Rankin M. Smith, Jr. acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 7th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $30.50 per share, for a total transaction of $305,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 273,540 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,342,970. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Rankin M. Smith, Jr. acquired 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 24th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $25.25 per share, for a total transaction of $378,750.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 259,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,539,977.25. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought 25,438 shares of company stock worth $695,738 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 20.18% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its holdings in Fidelity Southern by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 15,850 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $412,000 after acquiring an additional 348 shares during the last quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Fidelity Southern by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 17,466 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $454,000 after acquiring an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its holdings in Fidelity Southern by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 14,455 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $376,000 after acquiring an additional 585 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Fidelity Southern by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 179,329 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,666,000 after acquiring an additional 1,342 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System boosted its holdings in Fidelity Southern by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 34,016 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $885,000 after acquiring an additional 2,039 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.10% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Fidelity Southern stock opened at $30.14 on Friday. Fidelity Southern has a twelve month low of $21.18 and a twelve month high of $33.32. The firm has a market capitalization of $821.92 million, a P/E ratio of 18.72 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a current ratio of 1.00.

Fidelity Southern (NASDAQ:LION) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.03. Fidelity Southern had a return on equity of 10.25% and a net margin of 13.68%. The firm had revenue of $70.64 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $67.90 million. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Fidelity Southern will post 1.63 EPS for the current year.

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About Fidelity Southern

Fidelity Southern Corporation operates as the holding company for Fidelity Bank that provides financial products and services primarily for individuals, and small and medium-sized businesses in the United States. The company accepts noninterest-bearing demand and interest-bearing demand accounts, including money market accounts and savings deposits; and time deposits.

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