Heritage Financial Corp (HFWA) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Heritage Financial Corp (NASDAQ:HFWA) saw a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 1,684,637 shares, a growth of 51.4% from the December 15th total of 1,112,591 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 125,451 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 13.4 days. Approximately 5.8% of the company’s shares are short sold.

HFWA has been the subject of a number of research reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Heritage Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. BidaskClub cut shares of Heritage Financial from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. DA Davidson upped their price target on shares of Heritage Financial from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Heritage Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $33.00 price target on shares of Heritage Financial in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Heritage Financial has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $34.25.

Shares of Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) opened at $31.80 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27. Heritage Financial has a 12-month low of $22.50 and a 12-month high of $33.25. The firm has a market cap of $951.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 0.47.

Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35. Heritage Financial had a net margin of 23.48% and a return on equity of 8.42%. The firm had revenue of $43.39 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $42.85 million. analysts anticipate that Heritage Financial will post 1.42 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CFO Donald Hinson sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.22, for a total transaction of $31,220.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 33,288 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,039,251.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Anthony Pickering sold 11,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.76, for a total transaction of $338,360.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 48,085 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,479,094.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 21,636 shares of company stock valued at $667,583 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Heritage Financial in the 3rd quarter worth $131,000. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in Heritage Financial by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 7,369 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $195,000 after buying an additional 297 shares in the last quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP acquired a new position in Heritage Financial in the 2nd quarter worth $226,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new position in Heritage Financial in the 3rd quarter worth $289,000. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. acquired a new position in Heritage Financial in the 2nd quarter worth $274,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.13% of the company’s stock.

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Heritage Financial Company Profile

Heritage Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company is engaged in the business of planning, directing and coordinating the business activities of its bank subsidiary, Heritage Bank (the Bank). The Bank’s lending activities focus on commercial business lending. The Bank also originates consumer loans, real estate construction and land development loans, and one- to four-family residential loans.

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