No one could ignore Huntington Bancshares's strong performance during today's morning trading session, logging a 6.3% outperformance of the S&P 500 and reaching $14.11. The stock is now trading in range of its average target price of $14.74, which calls into question its ability to keep moving higher. Analysts have given the Regional Banking stock target prices ranging from $11 to $17 dollars per share, with an average rating of hold.
It seems the market sentiment regarding Huntington Bancshares is mostly optimistic, since it has a short interest of only 3.8%. This is the percentage of the share float that is being shorted by investors who are hoping the stock's price will decrease in the future.
When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.
Another way to gauge the sentiment on Huntington Bancshares is to look at the percentage of institutions that are invested in the stock. In this case, 81.6% of the shares are held by pension, mutual, and hedge funds, which shows that these institutions probably have strong confidence in the stock.
Institutions have vast resources. If institutions are invested in a particular stock, it shows in most cases that they have performed quality research and concluded that it is a good investment. In some cases, however, increases in institutional ownership could be a sign of a takeover attempt or proxy fight, which can actually injure share prices. Also, institutions are not infallible, and can certainly make miscalculations -- often with spectacular results.
In conclusion, we see mixed market sentiment regarding Huntington Bancshares because of its an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a hold rating,, an average amount of shares sold short, and a significant number of institutional investors. At Market Inference, we believe that any investment decision should be preceded by an in-depth analysis of the company's fundamental values and a comparison with similar stocks.
Here's a snapshot of some important facts to keep in mind about HBAN:
The stock has trailing 12 month price to earnings (Eps) of $1.14 per share
Huntington Bancshares has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 12.4 compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.97
The company has a Price to Book (P/B) ratio of 1.3 in contrast to the S&P 500's average ratio of 2.95
Huntington Bancshares is a Financial Services company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 13.34 and 1.95 respectively
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