Stifel Financial Corp (NYSE:SF) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,510,000 shares, a decline of 22.6% from the December 15th total of 1,950,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 354,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.3 days. Currently, 2.3% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Stifel Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Stifel Financial from $60.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, January 9th. Finally, JMP Securities boosted their price objective on Stifel Financial from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the company a “market outperform” rating in a report on Monday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $65.60.

In other news, Director Allen Brautigam sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.63, for a total transaction of $59,630.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 31,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,858,726.73. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Victor Nesi sold 1,875 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.22, for a total value of $116,662.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 176,160 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,960,675.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 30,314 shares of company stock worth $1,860,882. Corporate insiders own 3.77% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. MML Investors Services LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Stifel Financial by 7.7% in the 2nd quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 5,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $347,000 after buying an additional 421 shares during the period. Penserra Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Stifel Financial in the 3rd quarter worth $257,000. Barclays PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Stifel Financial by 26.3% in the 3rd quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 88,503 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,080,000 after buying an additional 18,432 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Stifel Financial by 29.2% in the 3rd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 394,162 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $22,618,000 after buying an additional 88,974 shares during the period. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Stifel Financial by 12.3% in the 3rd quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 627,525 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $36,007,000 after buying an additional 68,507 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.31% of the company’s stock.

SF traded down $0.17 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $64.03. 361,585 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 413,589. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.84 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.03. Stifel Financial has a 52-week low of $45.36 and a 52-week high of $64.81. The company has a quick ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.42 billion, a PE ratio of 12.13 and a beta of 1.90.

Stifel Financial (NYSE:SF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The financial services provider reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. Stifel Financial had a return on equity of 14.68% and a net margin of 13.55%. The company had revenue of $821.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $798.53 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.35 EPS. Stifel Financial’s revenue was up 11.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 2nd were issued a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 29th. Stifel Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 11.36%.

Stifel Financial Company Profile

Stifel Financial Corp., a financial services and bank holding company, provides retail and institutional wealth management, and investment banking services to individual investors, corporations, municipalities, and institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, rest of Europe, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Global Wealth Management, Institutional Group, and Other.

Featured Story: What are no-load funds?

Receive News & Ratings for Stifel Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Stifel Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.