Short Interest in El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) Rises By 34.7%

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,170,000 shares, a growth of 34.7% from the September 30th total of 868,900 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 217,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.4 days. Currently, 2.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of NYSE EE traded down $0.01 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $67.24. 1,263 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 203,935. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $67.11 and a two-hundred day moving average of $65.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.86 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.69. El Paso Electric has a one year low of $47.99 and a one year high of $67.86.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.385 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $1.54 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.29%. El Paso Electric’s payout ratio is 66.09%.

In related news, Director Edward Escudero sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.37, for a total value of $995,550.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,252 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,145,015.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen Wertheimer sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.40, for a total value of $1,660,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 27,376 shares in the company, valued at $1,817,766.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 64,094 shares of company stock worth $4,254,910 in the last 90 days. 1.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in shares of El Paso Electric during the second quarter valued at $3,344,000. Alpine Global Management LLC acquired a new stake in El Paso Electric in the second quarter worth about $4,340,000. 6 Meridian increased its position in El Paso Electric by 1.4% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 13,772 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $901,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in El Paso Electric by 1.9% in the second quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 16,061 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,050,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Verity & Verity LLC increased its position in El Paso Electric by 13.9% in the second quarter. Verity & Verity LLC now owns 5,465 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $357,000 after purchasing an additional 665 shares during the period. 92.62% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several research firms recently issued reports on EE. Zacks Investment Research cut El Paso Electric from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 5th. ValuEngine cut El Paso Electric from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.00.

About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric Co engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in West Texas and southern New Mexico. Its energy sources consist of nuclear fuel, natural gas, coal, wind turbines, and purchased power. The company’s electrical generating facilities include Palo Verde Station, Newman Power Station, Rio Grande Power Station, Four Corners Station, Copper Power Station, and Wind Ranch.

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