One of the standouts of today's afternoon trading session has been Old Dominion Freight Line, which logged a -5.5% drop and underperformed the S&P 500 by -5.0%. The Integrated Freight & Logistics stock is now trading at $364.54 per share and is -12.78% below its average target price of $417.94. Analysts have set target prices ranging from $290.0 to 505.0 dollars per share, and have given the stock an average rating of hold.
It seems the market sentiment regarding Old Dominion Freight Line is mostly optimistic, since it has a short interest of only 2.4%. 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.
Short selling involves borrowing shares and then selling them at current market prices. In the successful version of the strategy, the shares are purchased at a lower price at some time in the future. The investor then returns the shares to the lender, and keeps the profit made on the sell/buy 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 Old Dominion Freight Line, institutional investors own 76.4% of the shares, which indicates they have a very high stake in the company. 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 ODFL, 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 to 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 towards Old Dominion Freight Line because of an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a hold rating, an average amount of shares sold short, and an average number of institutional investors. Investors should not base their decisions on market sentiment only, they should also be aware of a stock's fundamentals before committing.
At a glance, here are some essential statistics you may want to know about ODFL:
It has trailing 12 month earnings per share (EPS) of $11.5 per share
Old Dominion Freight Line has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 31.7 while the S&P 500 average is 15.97
The company has a Price to Book (P/B) ratio of 10.4 in contrast to the S&P 500's average ratio of 2.95
Old Dominion Freight Line is a Industrials company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 20.49 and 3.78 respectively