The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) saw a large drop in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 24,790,000 shares, a drop of 21.3% from the March 31st total of 31,500,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 16,540,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.5 days.
KO has been the subject of several research reports. Evercore ISI raised their price objective on The Coca-Cola from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 20th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered The Coca-Cola from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $57.00 to $55.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of The Coca-Cola in a research note on Wednesday, April 21st. Guggenheim lowered The Coca-Cola from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on The Coca-Cola in a research note on Tuesday, January 19th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $58.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $57.69.
KO traded down $0.34 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.14. 14,134,368 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 17,926,988. The stock has a market cap of $233.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.70 and a beta of 0.58. The Coca-Cola has a fifty-two week low of $43.20 and a fifty-two week high of $54.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 1.13 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $52.99 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $51.57.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 15th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 14th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.10%. The Coca-Cola’s payout ratio is 79.62%.
In other news, CEO James Quincey sold 110,000 shares of The Coca-Cola stock in a transaction on Friday, April 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.48, for a total transaction of $5,992,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 266,718 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,530,796.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Alfredo Rivera sold 20,000 shares of The Coca-Cola stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.15, for a total value of $1,023,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 62,000 shares in the company, valued at $3,171,300. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 220,501 shares of company stock worth $11,883,380. 1.01% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bellwether Advisors LLC bought a new position in The Coca-Cola during the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. McClarren Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new position in The Coca-Cola during the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Retirement Group LLC raised its holdings in The Coca-Cola by 70.4% during the first quarter. Retirement Group LLC now owns 484 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Paradigm Strategies in Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in The Coca-Cola during the first quarter valued at about $29,000. Finally, Merrion Investment Management Co LLC bought a new position in The Coca-Cola during the fourth quarter valued at about $33,000. 65.99% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About The Coca-Cola
The Coca-Cola Company, a beverage company, manufactures, markets, and sells various nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. The company provides sparkling soft drinks; water, enhanced water, and sports drinks; juice, dairy, and plantÂ-based beverages; tea and coffee; and energy drinks. It also offers beverage concentrates and syrups, as well as fountain syrups to fountain retailers, such as restaurants and convenience stores.
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