Eaton Vance Corp (NYSE:EV) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,106,000 shares, a growth of 21.3% from the June 30th total of 5,032,600 shares. Approximately 5.5% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 776,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 7.9 days.

In other Eaton Vance news, Director Leo I. Higdon, Jr. sold 4,883 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.32, for a total value of $216,414.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Brian D. Langstraat sold 3,772 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.89, for a total value of $165,553.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Man Group plc lifted its holdings in Eaton Vance by 173.8% during the second quarter. Man Group plc now owns 76,655 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $3,306,000 after acquiring an additional 48,655 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new stake in Eaton Vance during the second quarter worth $252,000. Invesco Ltd. lifted its holdings in Eaton Vance by 16.8% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,238,869 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $53,432,000 after acquiring an additional 178,553 shares during the period. Ellington Management Group LLC bought a new stake in Eaton Vance during the second quarter worth $276,000. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC bought a new stake in Eaton Vance during the second quarter worth $193,000. 71.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have commented on EV shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Eaton Vance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, May 24th. ValuEngine cut Eaton Vance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Bank of America cut Eaton Vance from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Eaton Vance in a research note on Wednesday, June 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $44.00 price target for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $42.00.

Shares of EV stock traded down $1.56 on Wednesday, hitting $39.22. The company had a trading volume of 700,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 885,015. The stock has a market cap of $4.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.22, a P/E/G ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 1.58. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $43.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49, a quick ratio of 11.82 and a current ratio of 11.82. Eaton Vance has a twelve month low of $32.28 and a twelve month high of $54.44.

Eaton Vance (NYSE:EV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 21st. The asset manager reported $0.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.13. Eaton Vance had a return on equity of 35.53% and a net margin of 23.50%. The company had revenue of $411.86 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $411.42 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.77 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Eaton Vance will post 3.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Eaton Vance announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, July 10th that allows the company to buyback 8,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 30th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.57%. Eaton Vance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.61%.

About Eaton Vance

Eaton Vance Corp., through its subsidiaries, engages in the creation, marketing, and management of investment funds in the United States. It also provides investment management and counseling services to institutions and individuals. Further, the company operates as an adviser and distributor of investment companies and separate accounts.

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