Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALL) saw a large increase in short interest in November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 279,700 shares, an increase of 23.4% from the November 14th total of 226,700 shares. Currently, 1.6% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 124,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HALL. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Hallmark Financial Services by 29.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 945,386 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,453,000 after buying an additional 216,369 shares in the last quarter. Intrinsic Edge Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hallmark Financial Services in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $2,135,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Hallmark Financial Services by 14.5% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 942,492 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,412,000 after buying an additional 119,387 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Hallmark Financial Services by 32.1% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 417,015 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $5,934,000 after buying an additional 101,359 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mackay Shields LLC grew its stake in shares of Hallmark Financial Services by 114.4% in the 3rd quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 136,268 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,607,000 after buying an additional 72,700 shares in the last quarter. 65.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on HALL shares. BidaskClub raised Hallmark Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised Hallmark Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $17.67.

Shares of NASDAQ HALL traded up $0.04 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $18.37. The stock had a trading volume of 79,210 shares, compared to its average volume of 71,733. The company has a market capitalization of $336.00 million, a P/E ratio of 18.19 and a beta of 0.58. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $18.31 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $16.61. Hallmark Financial Services has a 52 week low of $9.48 and a 52 week high of $20.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 0.50.

Hallmark Financial Services (NASDAQ:HALL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The insurance provider reported $0.35 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $117.85 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.45 million. Hallmark Financial Services had a return on equity of 8.85% and a net margin of 6.39%. As a group, analysts expect that Hallmark Financial Services will post 1.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Hallmark Financial Services

Hallmark Financial Services, Inc, through its subsidiaries, underwrites, markets, distributes, and services property/casualty insurance products to businesses and individuals in the United States. The company operates in the Specialty Commercial, Standard Commercial, and Personal segments. The Specialty Commercial segment markets, underwrites, finances, and services commercial lines of insurance products, including commercial automobile, general liability, commercial property, commercial excess liability, and commercial umbrella insurance products.

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