Short Interest in McKesson Co. (MCK) Increases By 54.5%

McKesson Co. (NYSE:MCK) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 5,109,995 shares, a growth of 54.5% from the February 28th total of 3,307,858 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,746,868 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.9 days. Approximately 2.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MCK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded McKesson from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. ValuEngine upgraded McKesson from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on McKesson in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $124.00 target price on shares of McKesson in a report on Sunday, January 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank upgraded McKesson from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $175.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, January 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. McKesson presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $134.90.

Shares of NYSE:MCK traded up $2.37 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $117.58. 1,450,080 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,514,250. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81. McKesson has a 52-week low of $106.11 and a 52-week high of $160.84. The firm has a market cap of $22.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.32, a P/E/G ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.24.

McKesson (NYSE:MCK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $3.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.18 by $0.22. The business had revenue of $56.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $55.27 billion. McKesson had a positive return on equity of 27.83% and a negative net margin of 0.15%. During the same period last year, the company earned $3.41 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that McKesson will post 13.55 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. McKesson’s payout ratio is 12.36%.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Proficio Capital Partners LLC lifted its stake in McKesson by 161.2% during the fourth quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 222 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 137 shares during the period. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. raised its stake in shares of McKesson by 165.2% in the fourth quarter. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. now owns 236 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 147 shares during the last quarter. Smart Portfolios LLC bought a new position in shares of McKesson in the first quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Investors Research Corp bought a new position in shares of McKesson in the first quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Finally, Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of McKesson by 106.7% in the first quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 341 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 176 shares during the last quarter. 86.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About McKesson

McKesson Corporation provides pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: U.S. Pharmaceutical and Specialty Solutions, European Pharmaceutical Solutions, and Medical-Surgical Solutions. The company distributes branded, generic, specialty, biosimilar, and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, as well as other healthcare-related products; and offers practice management, technology, clinical support, and business solutions to community-based oncology and other specialty practices.

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