Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC) saw a significant growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 536,300 shares, a growth of 55.1% from the July 31st total of 345,800 shares. Approximately 2.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 123,600 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.3 days.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 1,658.8% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 598 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 564 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 122.0% in the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 797 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 438 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Stewart Information Services by 482.0% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 2,334 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $95,000 after acquiring an additional 1,933 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Stewart Information Services in the first quarter valued at $127,000. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Stewart Information Services in the second quarter valued at $214,000. 88.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of STC stock traded down $0.40 on Friday, reaching $35.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 305,067 shares, compared to its average volume of 226,703. The company has a quick ratio of 3.75, a current ratio of 3.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. Stewart Information Services has a 12-month low of $32.61 and a 12-month high of $45.75. The company has a market capitalization of $840.76 million, a P/E ratio of 16.23 and a beta of 0.56. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $36.16 and its 200-day simple moving average is $40.61.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by ($0.08). Stewart Information Services had a return on equity of 6.87% and a net margin of 2.24%. The business had revenue of $472.08 million during the quarter. Research analysts expect that Stewart Information Services will post 2.62 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.42%. Stewart Information Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 55.56%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Stewart Information Services from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.33.

Stewart Information Services Company Profile

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property.

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