Short Interest in CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) Grows By 12.7%

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CMEGet Free Report) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,740,000 shares, an increase of 12.7% from the February 29th total of 3,320,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,740,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.1 days. Currently, 1.0% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. The Goldman Sachs Group lowered CME Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $195.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Rosenblatt Securities reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $180.00 target price on shares of CME Group in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Barclays upped their price target on CME Group from $222.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Argus upped their price target on CME Group from $225.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $217.30.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on CME Group

CME Group Stock Performance

NASDAQ:CME traded up $2.78 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $214.80. 1,983,085 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,777,153. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $212.84 and a two-hundred day moving average of $211.04. CME Group has a 12 month low of $175.73 and a 12 month high of $223.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $77.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.49. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13.

CME Group (NASDAQ:CMEGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The financial services provider reported $2.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.27 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.43 billion. CME Group had a return on equity of 12.32% and a net margin of 57.83%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.92 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that CME Group will post 9.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

CME Group Increases Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 8th were issued a $1.15 dividend. This is a boost from CME Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.10. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 7th. This represents a $4.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. CME Group’s dividend payout ratio is 51.86%.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On CME Group

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of CME Group in the 4th quarter worth approximately $959,260,000. Capital Wealth Planning LLC acquired a new position in shares of CME Group in the 4th quarter worth approximately $253,563,000. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in shares of CME Group by 8.7% in the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 14,589,867 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,072,654,000 after buying an additional 1,172,575 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its holdings in shares of CME Group by 31.5% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,858,967 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $972,863,000 after buying an additional 1,163,103 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its holdings in shares of CME Group by 40.9% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 3,615,243 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $761,371,000 after buying an additional 1,048,511 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.75% of the company’s stock.

About CME Group

(Get Free Report)

CME Group Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates contract markets for the trading of futures and options on futures contracts worldwide. It offers futures and options products based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, energy, and metals, as well as fixed income and foreign currency trading services.

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