Short Interest in Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) Drops By 6.6%

Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) saw a significant drop in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,204,000 shares, a drop of 6.6% from the July 31st total of 14,132,900 shares. Currently, 9.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,290,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 10.2 days.

Voya Financial stock traded up $0.91 during trading on Friday, reaching $54.76. 1,335,088 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,382,499. Voya Financial has a 52-week low of $36.66 and a 52-week high of $57.57. The company has a market capitalization of $7.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.55, a PEG ratio of 0.51 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.17 and a quick ratio of 0.17. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $51.42 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $52.73.

Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 6th. The asset manager reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.05. Voya Financial had a return on equity of 8.47% and a net margin of 6.16%. The firm had revenue of $278.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $314.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.13 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Voya Financial will post 5.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 29th will be given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 28th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.10%. This is an increase from Voya Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.01. Voya Financial’s payout ratio is currently 14.85%.

In other news, Director Byron H. Pollitt, Jr. bought 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 12th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $49.30 per share, for a total transaction of $49,300.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.69% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of VOYA. Neuburgh Advisers LLC grew its stake in Voya Financial by 102.3% during the 1st quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 158,672 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $7,927,000 after purchasing an additional 80,224 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Voya Financial by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 26,245 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,307,000 after purchasing an additional 3,477 shares during the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Voya Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at about $255,000. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its holdings in shares of Voya Financial by 88.2% in the 1st quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 291,290 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $14,553,000 after purchasing an additional 136,525 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Voya Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at about $365,000.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on VOYA shares. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Voya Financial from $64.00 to $63.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 20th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $60.00 target price on Voya Financial and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Voya Financial from $65.00 to $62.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Voya Financial from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Voya Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $59.50.

About Voya Financial

Voya Financial, Inc operates as a retirement, investment, and employee benefits company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Retirement, Investment Management, Employee Benefits, and Individual Life. The Retirement segment offers tax-deferred employer-sponsored retirement savings plans and administrative services; and individual retirement accounts, and other retail financial products and financial services, as well as financial planning and advisory services.

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