Flushing Financial Co. (NASDAQ:FFIC) Short Interest Up 24.8% in February

Flushing Financial Co. (NASDAQ: FFIC – Get a rating) benefited from significant growth in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28, there were short interests totaling 319,300 shares, a growth of 24.8% from the total of 255,800 shares as of February 13. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 135,800 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 2.4 days.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently been buying and selling stocks. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY increased its holdings in Flushing Financial by 70,788.9% in the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 6,380 shares of the bank worth $137,000 after purchasing an additional 6,371 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Flushing Financial by 110.0% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 8,216 shares in the bank valued at $186,000 after buying an additional 4,304 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. raised its position in shares of Flushing Financial by 78.7% in the fourth quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 8,277 shares of the bank valued at $201,000 after purchasing an additional 3,644 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in Flushing Financial by 15.1% during the third quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 11,710 shares of the bank valued at $265,000 after acquiring 1,539 additional shares last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Flushing Financial in Q4, valued at approximately $271,000. 72.21% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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NASDAQ:FFIC shares opened at $23.07 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $24.07 and a 200-day simple moving average of $23.71. The company has a market capitalization of $703.22 million, a PE ratio of 8.87 and a beta of 0.77. Flushing Financial has a 52-week low of $19.79 and a 52-week high of $25.95. The company has a debt ratio of 1.20, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.05.

Flushing Financial (NASDAQ: FFIC – Get a rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 27. The bank reported EPS of $0.67 for the quarter. The company had revenue of $62.39 million in the quarter. Flushing Financial had a net margin of 27.99% and a return on equity of 13.44%. In the same period a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $0.58. On average, stock analysts predict that Flushing Financial will post earnings per share of 2.41 for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 25. Investors of record on Friday, March 11 will receive a dividend of $0.22 per share. This is an increase from Flushing Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 10. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.88 and a dividend yield of 3.81%. Flushing Financial’s payout ratio is currently 33.85%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Flushing Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a Wednesday, March 2, research report.

About Flushing Financial (Get a rating)

Flushing Financial Corp. operates as a bank holding company for Flushing Savings Bank, which provides banking and financial services. Its core business is to attract retail deposits from the general public and to invest those deposits with funds generated from ongoing operations and borrowings, primarily in originations and purchases of multi-family residential properties, commercial business loans, commercial real estate mortgages, construction loans, small business administration loans and other small business loans, mortgage loan, USA

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