Webster Financial Co. (NYSE:WBS) saw a large decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,390,000 shares, a decline of 9.1% from the December 15th total of 2,630,000 shares. Approximately 2.6% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 544,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.4 days.

In other news, Director Mark Pettie sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.32, for a total value of $185,280.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 35,272 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,633,799.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John Joseph Crawford sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.68, for a total transaction of $45,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $644,042.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 7,000 shares of company stock valued at $321,640 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.53% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Webster Financial by 31.8% during the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 54,618 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,767,000 after buying an additional 13,181 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Webster Financial by 13.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 728,381 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $34,795,000 after purchasing an additional 85,230 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its position in Webster Financial by 43.5% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 6,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Pinebridge Investments L.P. raised its position in Webster Financial by 296.1% in the second quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 15,722 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $751,000 after purchasing an additional 11,753 shares during the period. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC raised its position in Webster Financial by 21.6% in the second quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 10,246 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $489,000 after purchasing an additional 1,822 shares during the period. 90.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE WBS traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $52.91. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 346,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 356,238. Webster Financial has a 1-year low of $42.29 and a 1-year high of $58.25. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $51.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $48.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 0.81. The firm has a market cap of $4.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.15, a P/E/G ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 1.32.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The financial services provider reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by ($0.01). Webster Financial had a net margin of 27.14% and a return on equity of 13.49%. The business had revenue of $310.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $314.65 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Webster Financial will post 4.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on WBS shares. Sandler O’Neill downgraded shares of Webster Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of Webster Financial in a report on Monday, October 28th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $42.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Webster Financial from $52.00 to $50.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Webster Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $47.00 price target for the company. in a report on Saturday, October 19th. Finally, Compass Point lowered shares of Webster Financial from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.67.

About Webster Financial

Webster Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association that provides a range of banking, investment, and financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in the United States. It operates through three segments: Commercial Banking, HSA Bank, and Community Banking.

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