Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,710,000 shares, a growth of 6.2% from the August 15th total of 1,610,000 shares. Currently, 6.8% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 280,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.1 days.

Several brokerages have commented on GEF. ValuEngine raised shares of Greif from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 30th. TheStreet cut shares of Greif from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $40.00 price target on shares of Greif and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Greif from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, August 19th. Finally, Bank of America set a $37.00 price target on shares of Greif and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 7th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Sell” and a consensus target price of $36.38.

Shares of Greif stock traded down $0.15 during trading on Monday, hitting $37.89. 150,417 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 250,889. The stock has a market cap of $1.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.38. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $35.12 and its 200 day moving average price is $36.50. Greif has a 12-month low of $29.85 and a 12-month high of $54.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.37, a current ratio of 1.60 and a quick ratio of 1.11.

Greif (NYSE:GEF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 28th. The industrial products company reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.18 by $0.08. Greif had a net margin of 3.36% and a return on equity of 19.40%. The firm had revenue of $1.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.34 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.20 earnings per share. Greif’s quarterly revenue was up 23.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Greif will post 3.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a — dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. This represents a yield of 5.4%. Greif’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.86%.

In related news, CFO Lawrence A. Hilsheimer bought 3,450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 5th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $33.76 per share, for a total transaction of $116,472.00. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 108,090 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,649,118.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Peter G. Watson bought 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 2nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $32.71 per share, with a total value of $490,650.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 140,011 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,579,759.81. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 20,358 shares of company stock valued at $670,275 in the last quarter. 13.56% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. increased its stake in Greif by 15.5% in the second quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 487,760 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $15,877,000 after purchasing an additional 65,584 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Greif by 6.2% during the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 463,929 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $19,137,000 after acquiring an additional 27,036 shares during the period. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC increased its stake in shares of Greif by 1.2% during the second quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC now owns 437,349 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $14,236,000 after acquiring an additional 5,082 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P. increased its stake in shares of Greif by 178.8% during the second quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 231,791 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $7,544,000 after acquiring an additional 148,645 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in shares of Greif by 12.2% during the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 205,343 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $8,470,000 after acquiring an additional 22,285 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 45.35% of the company’s stock.

About Greif

Greif, Inc produces and sells industrial packaging products and services worldwide. It operates through four segments: Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services; Paper Packaging & Services; Flexible Products & Services; and Land Management. The Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment offers rigid industrial packaging products, including steel, fiber, and plastic drums; rigid intermediate bulk containers; closure systems for industrial packaging products; transit protection products; water bottles, and remanufactured and reconditioned industrial containers; and services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing, and other packaging services.

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