Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) was the target of a large increase in short interest in June. As of June 15th, there was short interest totalling 13,876,000 shares, an increase of 6.1% from the May 15th total of 13,074,500 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,380,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 10.1 days. Approximately 9.6% of the company’s stock are sold short.

In other news, insider Patricia J. Walsh sold 1,870 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.69, for a total transaction of $100,400.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 27,488 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,475,830.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Byron H. Pollitt, Jr. purchased 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 31st. The shares were bought at an average price of $51.26 per share, for a total transaction of $51,260.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.69% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Voya Financial by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 2,424,257 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $121,116,000 after acquiring an additional 66,864 shares during the last quarter. Scout Investments Inc. lifted its position in Voya Financial by 94.9% during the 1st quarter. Scout Investments Inc. now owns 2,336,388 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $116,726,000 after acquiring an additional 1,137,895 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in Voya Financial by 24.4% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,090,289 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $83,902,000 after acquiring an additional 409,431 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in Voya Financial by 6.6% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,994,280 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $99,634,000 after acquiring an additional 124,249 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Voya Financial during the 4th quarter worth $67,212,000.

NYSE:VOYA traded down $0.67 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $56.31. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 820,850 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,042,200. The company has a market cap of $8.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.41 and a beta of 1.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. Voya Financial has a one year low of $36.66 and a one year high of $57.38. The business has a 50-day moving average of $54.88.

Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The asset manager reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $194.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $272.72 million. Voya Financial had a return on equity of 8.45% and a net margin of 5.64%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.03 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Voya Financial will post 5.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 31st were given a dividend of $0.01 per share. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.07%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 30th. Voya Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 0.99%.

VOYA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Summit Industrial Income REIT from C$11.50 to C$12.50 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 9th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on shares of Conagra Brands from $24.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Williams-Sonoma from $52.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 10th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Voya Financial from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $59.60.

About Voya Financial

Voya Financial, Inc operates as a retirement, investment, and employee benefits company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Retirement, Investment Management, Employee Benefits, and Individual Life. The Retirement segment offers tax-deferred employer-sponsored retirement savings plans and administrative services; and individual retirement accounts, and other retail financial products and financial services, as well as financial planning and advisory services.

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