Short Interest in El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO) Rises By 33.3%

El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,671,800 shares, a growth of 33.3% from the May 30th total of 2,755,500 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 398,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.2 days. Approximately 16.6% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. 6 Meridian raised its stake in shares of El Pollo LoCo by 5.0% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 30,446 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $325,000 after acquiring an additional 1,458 shares during the period. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new position in El Pollo LoCo in the 1st quarter worth about $144,000. Global Financial Private Capital LLC purchased a new position in El Pollo LoCo in the 1st quarter worth about $883,000. Alambic Investment Management L.P. purchased a new position in El Pollo LoCo in the 1st quarter worth about $141,000. Finally, Martingale Asset Management L P increased its stake in El Pollo LoCo by 98.1% in the 1st quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 136,311 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $1,774,000 after buying an additional 67,506 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.76% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on LOCO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of HB Fuller from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Zumiez from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $16.25.

Shares of NASDAQ LOCO traded up $0.09 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $10.49. The stock had a trading volume of 358,947 shares, compared to its average volume of 293,857. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $10.74. The stock has a market cap of $399.70 million, a P/E ratio of 14.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.47. El Pollo LoCo has a 52 week low of $10.02 and a 52 week high of $18.47. The company has a current ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03.

El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The restaurant operator reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.16 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $108.98 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $109.42 million. El Pollo LoCo had a positive return on equity of 10.29% and a negative net margin of 2.42%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.17 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that El Pollo LoCo will post 0.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About El Pollo LoCo

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco, Inc, develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. The company offers citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken, and handcrafted entrée products, including specialty chicken burritos, chicken quesadillas, and chicken tortilla soup, as well as under 500 calorie entrees, and Pollo Bowl and Pollo salad products.

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