Charles River Laboratories Intl. Inc (NYSE:CRL) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 976,900 shares, a drop of 7.8% from the December 15th total of 1,060,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 310,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.2 days. Currently, 2.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other Charles River Laboratories Intl. news, VP Birgit Girshick sold 1,499 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.23, for a total value of $205,707.77. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 25,459 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,493,738.57. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Charles River Laboratories Intl. by 1.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,660,628 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $661,344,000 after purchasing an additional 72,827 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Charles River Laboratories Intl. by 7.5% during the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 2,239,921 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $317,845,000 after purchasing an additional 157,160 shares during the period. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Charles River Laboratories Intl. by 11.0% during the third quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC now owns 1,007,750 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $133,396,000 after purchasing an additional 99,900 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Charles River Laboratories Intl. by 9.8% during the third quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 598,941 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $79,281,000 after purchasing an additional 53,657 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in Charles River Laboratories Intl. by 5.1% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 471,966 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $66,972,000 after purchasing an additional 22,821 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.80% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:CRL traded down $0.77 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $158.84. 364,938 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 344,600. Charles River Laboratories Intl. has a 1-year low of $115.69 and a 1-year high of $161.39. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $150.39 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $138.12. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30. The firm has a market cap of $7.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.34, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 1.11.

Charles River Laboratories Intl. (NYSE:CRL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The medical research company reported $1.69 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.05. Charles River Laboratories Intl. had a net margin of 9.14% and a return on equity of 21.52%. The company had revenue of $668.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $674.08 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.53 EPS. Charles River Laboratories Intl.’s revenue was up 14.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Charles River Laboratories Intl. will post 6.55 EPS for the current year.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Bank of America cut shares of Charles River Laboratories Intl. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $150.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, October 18th. Robert W. Baird lifted their price target on shares of Charles River Laboratories Intl. from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 17th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Charles River Laboratories Intl. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $173.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Charles River Laboratories Intl. from $151.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, December 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Charles River Laboratories Intl. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $143.00 to $179.00 in a research report on Friday, January 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. Charles River Laboratories Intl. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $163.29.

About Charles River Laboratories Intl.

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc, an early-stage contract research company, provides drug discovery, non-clinical development, and safety testing services worldwide. It operates in three segments: Research Models and Services (RMS), Discovery and Safety Assessment (DSA), and Manufacturing Support (Manufacturing).

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