Rocketing to a price of $10.18 during today's morning trading session, shares of Cinemark are still -28.96% below their average target price of $14.33. Could there be more upside potential for the stock? Analysts are giving CNK an average rating of buy and target prices ranging from $9 to $18 dollars per share.
The market is more pessimistic on Cinemark, because its short interest -- meaning the percentage of its shares that are being shorted on an expectation of a price decline -- is quite high at 30.0%. The float includes only shares that are available for public trading, and excludes preferred shares held by insiders.
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.
One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of Cinemark, institutional investors own 107.4% of the shares. This would indicate a positive sentiment towards the stock among institutions. What does this really tell us?
Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in CNK, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice. But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.
Overall, there is mixed market sentiment on Cinemark because its an analyst consensus of strong upside potential, a buy rating, an unusually large proportion of its shares sold short, and a significant number of institutional investors. Warren Buffett famously said that in the short term, markets are voting mechanisms, but in the long term, they are weighing mechanisms. This means that long term investors should be aware of a stock's fundamentals before committing.
Buffett was one of the fist investors to focus on free cash flow as a yardstick for a company's health. Here are CNK's recent cash flows:
|Date Reported||Cash Flow from Operations ($ MM)||Capital expenditures ($ MM)||Free Cash Flow ($ MM)||YoY Growth (%)|