Charles Schwab Co. (NYSE:SCHW) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 21,510,000 shares, a growth of 23.0% from the September 30th total of 17,490,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 9,960,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.2 days. Approximately 1.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In related news, Chairman Charles R. Schwab sold 105,422 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.03, for a total transaction of $4,430,886.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Jonathan M. Craig sold 3,740 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.97, for a total transaction of $145,747.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 219,677 shares of company stock worth $8,993,241 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Moors & Cabot Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Charles Schwab by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 16,103 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $666,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the period. Blume Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Charles Schwab by 21.7% during the 2nd quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $56,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in shares of Charles Schwab by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 16,680 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $698,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Davis R M Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Charles Schwab by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 6,309 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $264,000 after buying an additional 255 shares during the period. Finally, Coe Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Charles Schwab by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Coe Capital Management LLC now owns 33,298 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,393,000 after purchasing an additional 258 shares in the last quarter. 79.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Charles Schwab stock traded up $0.39 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $43.62. The stock had a trading volume of 1,605,056 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,207,510. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $40.06 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $41.14. Charles Schwab has a twelve month low of $34.58 and a twelve month high of $48.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.30 and a quick ratio of 0.30. The firm has a market cap of $56.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.80, a PEG ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 1.32.

Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 15th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.05. Charles Schwab had a net margin of 35.12% and a return on equity of 20.81%. The firm had revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.65 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Charles Schwab will post 2.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, November 8th will be paid a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 7th. Charles Schwab’s dividend payout ratio is 27.76%.

Several research analysts have issued reports on SCHW shares. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Charles Schwab from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Charles Schwab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 4th. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Charles Schwab from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Charles Schwab in a research report on Wednesday, July 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on shares of Charles Schwab from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $44.38.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services. The company operates through two segments, Investor Services and Advisor Services. The Investor Services segment provides retail brokerage and banking services, retirement plan services, and other corporate brokerage services; equity compensation plan sponsors full-service recordkeeping for stock plans, stock options, restricted stock, performance shares, and stock appreciation rights; and retail investor, retirement plan, and mutual fund clearing services.

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