Univar Inc (NYSE:UNVR) Short Interest Up 62.9% in March

Univar Inc (NYSE:UNVR) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 8,357,140 shares, an increase of 62.9% from the February 28th total of 5,130,468 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,360,042 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.5 days. Currently, 5.7% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT grew its position in Univar by 29.8% during the fourth quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 10,971,291 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $194,631,000 after buying an additional 2,520,455 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Univar by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,694,360 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $297,229,000 after acquiring an additional 193,925 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in Univar by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 9,694,360 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $297,229,000 after acquiring an additional 193,925 shares during the period. Baupost Group LLC MA boosted its holdings in Univar by 436.4% during the 4th quarter. Baupost Group LLC MA now owns 9,500,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $168,530,000 after acquiring an additional 7,728,900 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Univar by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,811,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $85,354,000 after acquiring an additional 147,168 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.82% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Barclays reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of Univar in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $30.00 price objective on Univar and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. Berenberg Bank cut Univar from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $27.00 to $25.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Univar in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine raised Univar from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Univar presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.80.

Shares of UNVR traded up $0.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $22.15. The stock had a trading volume of 868,303 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,686,596. The firm has a market cap of $3.77 billion, a PE ratio of 13.64, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97, a current ratio of 1.64 and a quick ratio of 1.04. Univar has a 52 week low of $16.33 and a 52 week high of $31.23.

Univar (NYSE:UNVR) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 8th. The basic materials company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.01 billion. Univar had a return on equity of 19.35% and a net margin of 2.00%. The business’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.34 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Univar will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Univar

Univar Inc distributes commodity and specialty chemical products, and related services worldwide. It offers herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seeds, micro and macro nutrients, horticultural products, and fertilizers; storage, packaging, and logistics services for crop protection companies; and pest control products and equipment.

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