BankUnited (BKU) Short Interest Up 51.5% in April

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) saw a large growth in short interest in April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 2,215,464 shares, a growth of 51.5% from the April 13th total of 1,462,125 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 834,749 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.7 days. Approximately 2.1% of the company’s stock are short sold.

In other news, insider Mark Bagnoli sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.63, for a total transaction of $40,630.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 25,118 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,020,544.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jeffrey Starr sold 2,805 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.89, for a total value of $120,306.45. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 48,104 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,063,180.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 6,487 shares of company stock valued at $276,048 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BKU. Citadel Advisors LLC grew its holdings in BankUnited by 1,334.0% in the 4th quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 2,228,050 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $90,727,000 after buying an additional 2,072,682 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. grew its holdings in BankUnited by 282.3% in the 4th quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,655,021 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,112,000 after buying an additional 1,960,555 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in BankUnited by 2,161.1% in the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,377,964 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $56,111,000 after buying an additional 1,317,021 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management grew its holdings in BankUnited by 42.3% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,806,500 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $72,223,000 after buying an additional 536,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC grew its holdings in BankUnited by 20.6% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 2,907,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $118,404,000 after buying an additional 496,381 shares during the last quarter. 98.13% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BKU opened at $42.01 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $4.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45. BankUnited has a 12-month low of $41.33 and a 12-month high of $41.77.

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $275.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $271.96 million. BankUnited had a return on equity of 11.16% and a net margin of 45.31%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. research analysts expect that BankUnited will post 3.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, April 12th were issued a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, April 11th. BankUnited’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 31.70%.

BankUnited announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

BKU has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine raised BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. Sandler O’Neill raised BankUnited from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of BankUnited in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Hovde Group downgraded BankUnited from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $42.92.

BankUnited Company Profile

BankUnited, Inc operates as the bank holding company for BankUnited, National Association that provides a range of banking services to small and medium sized businesses, and individual and corporate customers in the United States. The company offers deposit products, such as checking, money market deposit, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and treasury management services.

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