Cincinnati Financial Co. (NASDAQ:CINF) Short Interest Up 7.7% in December

Cincinnati Financial Co. (NASDAQ:CINF – Get Rating) saw a large increase in short interest in December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,210,000 shares, an increase of 7.7% from the November 30th total of 3,910,000 shares. Approximately 2.7% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 725,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.8 days.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on CINF. Raymond James started coverage on Cincinnati Financial in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Bank of America assumed coverage on Cincinnati Financial in a report on Tuesday, September 27th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 target price on the stock. MKM Partners raised their price objective on Cincinnati Financial from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 5th. Finally, lowered Cincinnati Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $111.00.

Cincinnati Financial Stock Performance

Shares of NASDAQ:CINF traded up $1.22 on Tuesday, hitting $103.61. 12,630 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 513,458. Cincinnati Financial has a 1-year low of $88.66 and a 1-year high of $143.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $104.82 and its 200 day moving average is $104.06.

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The insurance provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. Cincinnati Financial had a positive return on equity of 7.00% and a negative net margin of 0.43%. The business had revenue of $1.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.61 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.28 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 21.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Cincinnati Financial will post 4.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Cincinnati Financial Cuts Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 13th. Investors of record on Friday, December 16th will be paid a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 15th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.32%. Cincinnati Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -766.67%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, Director Dirk J. Debbink acquired 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $106.13 per share, with a total value of $106,130.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 45,502 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,829,127.26. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 2.95% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Cincinnati Financial

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale grew its position in Cincinnati Financial by 27.3% during the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 34,012 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,983,000 after purchasing an additional 7,293 shares in the last quarter. Salvus Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in Cincinnati Financial by 4.9% during the third quarter. Salvus Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,332 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $478,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina grew its stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 33.2% during the second quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 76,307 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $9,079,000 after purchasing an additional 18,999 shares during the last quarter. Empirical Finance LLC lifted its holdings in Cincinnati Financial by 5.6% in the second quarter. Empirical Finance LLC now owns 3,034 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $361,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its holdings in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 6.6% in the first quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 20,052 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,726,000 after acquiring an additional 1,242 shares in the last quarter. 66.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Cincinnati Financial

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Cincinnati Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides property casualty insurance products in the United States. The company operates through five segments: Commercial Lines Insurance, Personal Lines Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance, Life Insurance, and Investments. The Commercial Lines Insurance segment offers coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers’ compensation.

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