Bunge Ltd (NYSE:BG) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,350,000 shares, an increase of 10.8% from the December 15th total of 2,120,000 shares. Currently, 1.7% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 839,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.8 days.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Bunge from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 6th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Bunge from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $64.00 to $67.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 10th. Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Bunge in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $74.00 price objective on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Bunge from a “b-” rating to a “c-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Bunge from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Bunge presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $67.83.

In related news, insider Jerry Matthews Simmons, Jr. sold 1,786 shares of Bunge stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.65, for a total value of $97,604.90. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 11,323 shares in the company, valued at approximately $618,801.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 3.18% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BG. LPL Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of Bunge by 20.5% in the second quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 4,746 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $264,000 after purchasing an additional 809 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of Bunge by 76.7% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 625,922 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $34,870,000 after acquiring an additional 271,754 shares during the period. AXA purchased a new stake in shares of Bunge in the second quarter valued at $373,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in shares of Bunge by 902.1% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 4,770 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $266,000 after acquiring an additional 4,294 shares during the period. Finally, O Shares Investment Advisers LLC raised its stake in shares of Bunge by 6.2% in the second quarter. O Shares Investment Advisers LLC now owns 4,365 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $243,000 after acquiring an additional 255 shares during the period. 78.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:BG traded up $0.25 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $56.03. 135,306 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 710,291. Bunge has a one year low of $47.26 and a one year high of $59.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 1.47 and a quick ratio of 0.73. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $55.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.66. The company has a market cap of $7.90 billion, a PE ratio of 20.60 and a beta of 0.88.

Bunge (NYSE:BG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.41 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.87. Bunge had a negative net margin of 3.09% and a positive return on equity of 9.31%. The business had revenue of $10.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.14 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.52 earnings per share. Bunge’s quarterly revenue was down 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Bunge will post 2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 2nd. Investors of record on Monday, February 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. Bunge’s payout ratio is currently 73.53%.

About Bunge

Bunge Limited operates as an agribusiness and food company worldwide. It operates in five segments: Agribusiness, Edible Oil Products, Milling Products, Sugar and Bioenergy, and Fertilizer. The Agribusiness segment purchases, stores, transports, processes, and sells agricultural commodities and commodity products, including oilseeds primarily soybeans, rapeseed, canola, and sunflower seeds, as well as grains primarily wheat and corn; and vegetable oils and protein meals.

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