Short Interest in XL Group Ltd. (XL) Rises By 33.4%

XL Group Ltd. (NYSE:XL) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 12,692,008 shares, an increase of 33.4% from the September 29th total of 9,511,259 shares. Currently, 5.0% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,053,207 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.2 days.

XL has been the topic of several research reports. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of XL Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $42.00 to $37.00 in a report on Friday, October 13th. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (up previously from $46.00) on shares of XL Group in a report on Friday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of XL Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. UBS AG dropped their price objective on shares of XL Group from $48.00 to $46.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Finally, Bank of America Corp dropped their price objective on shares of XL Group from $49.00 to $47.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.50.

Shares of XL Group (NYSE XL) opened at 40.47 on Wednesday. XL Group has a 12 month low of $34.28 and a 12 month high of $47.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.23 and a beta of 1.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $40.21 and its 200 day moving average is $42.33.

XL Group (NYSE:XL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The insurance provider reported ($4.00) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($3.91) by ($0.09). XL Group had a negative net margin of 2.51% and a negative return on equity of 4.03%. The firm had revenue of $2.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.11 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.44 earnings per share. XL Group’s quarterly revenue was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that XL Group will post ($1.44) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. XL Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently -71.54%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Blair William & Co. IL bought a new position in XL Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $928,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its stake in shares of XL Group by 28.0% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 75,567 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,325,000 after purchasing an additional 16,513 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of XL Group by 114.1% in the 2nd quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 37,848 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,659,000 after purchasing an additional 20,174 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of XL Group by 36.1% in the 3rd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,181 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $559,000 after purchasing an additional 3,759 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. boosted its stake in shares of XL Group by 754.3% in the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 67,586 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,961,000 after purchasing an additional 59,675 shares in the last quarter. 95.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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XL Group Company Profile

XL Group plc is an insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises. The Company operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company’s Insurance segment is organized into four product divisions: Global Casualty (Casualty); Global Energy Property, & Construction (EPC); Global Professional (Professional), and Global Specialty (Specialty).

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