Matson Inc (NYSE:MATX) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 672,300 shares, a growth of 20.8% from the December 15th total of 556,600 shares. Currently, 1.6% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 150,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.5 days.

Several research firms have recently commented on MATX. Sidoti upped their price objective on Matson from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Matson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Matson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $43.00.

NYSE:MATX opened at $39.14 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a current ratio of 0.68 and a quick ratio of 0.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.57 and a beta of 1.52. Matson has a one year low of $31.66 and a one year high of $42.15. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $38.96 and a 200-day moving average price of $38.13.

Matson (NYSE:MATX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 7th. The shipping company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $572.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $574.44 million. Matson had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 3.94%. Matson’s revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.97 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Matson will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Mark H. Fukunaga purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 5th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $36.88 per share, with a total value of $110,640.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 16,059 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $592,255.92. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Peter T. Heilmann sold 4,460 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.33, for a total value of $175,411.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 40,517 shares in the company, valued at $1,593,533.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 13,732 shares of company stock worth $530,748 over the last three months. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in shares of Matson by 38.3% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 1,051 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 291 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new stake in shares of Matson in the 2nd quarter worth $78,000. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in Matson in the 2nd quarter worth $82,000. Fruth Investment Management purchased a new stake in Matson in the 4th quarter worth $236,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Matson in the 2nd quarter worth $266,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.95% of the company’s stock.

About Matson

Matson, Inc provides ocean transportation and logistics services. The company's Ocean Transportation segment offers ocean freight transportation services to the domestic non-contiguous economies of Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, as well as to other island economies in Micronesia. It primarily transports dry containers of mixed commodities, refrigerated commodities, packaged foods and beverages, building materials, automobiles, and household goods; livestock; seafood; general sustenance cargo; and garments, footwear, and other retail merchandise.

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