Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE:AAN) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 4,109,632 shares, an increase of 35.7% from the June 30th total of 3,029,182 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 819,618 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.0 days. Approximately 5.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of Aaron’s, (AAN) traded down 0.53% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $45.00. 679,896 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $41.67 and its 200 day moving average price is $34.83. Aaron’s, has a 1-year low of $22.37 and a 1-year high of $48.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.12 and a beta of 0.17.

Aaron’s, (NYSE:AAN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $815.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $786.12 million. Aaron’s, had a net margin of 4.36% and a return on equity of 12.00%. The business’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Aaron’s, will post $2.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.027 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.11 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.24%. Aaron’s, ‘s dividend payout ratio is presently 5.64%.

In other news, CFO Steven A. Michaels sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.26, for a total transaction of $231,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 61,095 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,826,254.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John W. Robinson sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.11, for a total transaction of $691,650.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 348,440 shares in the company, valued at $16,066,568.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.93% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Aaron’s, by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 453,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,505,000 after buying an additional 57,440 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP bought a new position in shares of Aaron’s, during the first quarter worth about $688,000. United Services Automobile Association bought a new position in shares of Aaron’s, during the first quarter worth about $493,000. Hancock Holding Co. increased its position in shares of Aaron’s, by 18.9% in the first quarter. Hancock Holding Co. now owns 314,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,356,000 after buying an additional 50,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Aaron’s, by 6.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,298,343 shares of the company’s stock worth $187,313,000 after buying an additional 361,856 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.83% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on AAN. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Aaron’s, in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Aaron’s, in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective (up from $40.00) on shares of Aaron’s, in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Northcoast Research reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $52.50 price objective (up from $45.00) on shares of Aaron’s, in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aaron’s, from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Aaron’s, presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $42.50.

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About Aaron’s,

Aaron’s, Inc (Aaron’s) is an omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions. The Company engages in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories through its Company-operated and franchised stores in Canada, as well as its e-commerce platform, Aarons.com.

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