Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,450,411 shares, a growth of 26.2% from the December 15th total of 2,734,145 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 742,206 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.6 days. Currently, 2.0% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Fulton Financial by 7.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,721 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 519 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Fulton Financial by 5.3% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 8,336 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 417 shares in the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Fulton Financial by 56.0% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 9,985 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $190,000 after buying an additional 3,585 shares in the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Fulton Financial in the third quarter valued at about $192,000. Finally, C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. boosted its stake in Fulton Financial by 121.1% in the second quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. now owns 10,755 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 5,890 shares in the last quarter. 62.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Fulton Financial (FULT) opened at $18.60 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.98. Fulton Financial has a 12-month low of $16.45 and a 12-month high of $19.90. The company has a market capitalization of $3,250.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.24 and a beta of 1.17.

Fulton Financial (NASDAQ:FULT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The bank reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.01. Fulton Financial had a return on equity of 8.28% and a net margin of 21.15%. The company had revenue of $194.19 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $200.00 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.24 earnings per share. Fulton Financial’s revenue was up 8.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Fulton Financial will post 1.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 2nd were given a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.37%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 29th. Fulton Financial’s payout ratio is currently 43.14%.

A number of research analysts recently commented on FULT shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Fulton Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Fulton Financial in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Barclays raised their price target on Fulton Financial from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. BidaskClub cut Fulton Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Fulton Financial in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $18.80.

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About Fulton Financial

Fulton Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company is the bank holding company of Fulton Bank N.A. (the Bank). As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s six subsidiary banks were located primarily in suburban or semi-rural geographic markets throughout a five-state region (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia).

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