First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI) Short Interest Up 12.2% in December

First Midwest Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FMBI) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,760,000 shares, a growth of 12.2% from the December 15th total of 3,350,000 shares. Currently, 3.5% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 512,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.3 days.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc grew its holdings in First Midwest Bancorp by 47.3% in the second quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 2,725 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $56,000 after purchasing an additional 875 shares during the period. AdvisorNet Financial Inc lifted its stake in shares of First Midwest Bancorp by 100.0% in the third quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 3,066 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $60,000 after buying an additional 1,533 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in shares of First Midwest Bancorp by 17.2% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 1,026 shares in the last quarter. Optimum Investment Advisors lifted its stake in shares of First Midwest Bancorp by 100.0% in the third quarter. Optimum Investment Advisors now owns 7,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 3,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Atria Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of First Midwest Bancorp in the second quarter worth approximately $205,000. Institutional investors own 82.31% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Midwest Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. BidaskClub cut shares of First Midwest Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Stephens upgraded shares of First Midwest Bancorp from an “equal” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $21.00 to $23.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Midwest Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, January 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $23.67.

Shares of NASDAQ FMBI traded up $0.23 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $22.35. 82,015 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 504,370. First Midwest Bancorp has a 12-month low of $18.29 and a 12-month high of $23.68. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 0.99. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $22.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $20.77. The firm has a market cap of $2.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.38 and a beta of 1.29.

First Midwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:FMBI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.03. First Midwest Bancorp had a net margin of 22.55% and a return on equity of 9.51%. The company had revenue of $193.74 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $191.95 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts expect that First Midwest Bancorp will post 1.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 7th. Investors of record on Friday, December 20th were given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 19th. First Midwest Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.53%.

About First Midwest Bancorp

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for First Midwest Bank that provides various banking products and services. The company accepts checking, NOW, money market, and savings accounts, as well as various types of short-term and long-term certificates of deposit. Its loan products include working capital loans; accounts receivable financing; inventory and equipment financing; sector-based lending, including healthcare, asset-based lending, structured finance, and syndications; agricultural loans; and mortgages, home equity lines and loans, personal loans, specialty loans, and consumer secured loans, as well as funding for the construction, purchase, refinance, or improvement of commercial real estate properties.

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