CME Group Inc (CME) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,911,095 shares, a growth of 1.4% from the February 28th total of 7,804,510 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,485,230 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.3 days.

In other news, CFO John W. Pietrowicz sold 2,500 shares of CME Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.85, for a total transaction of $294,625.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 40,995 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,831,260.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Hilda Harris Piell sold 3,043 shares of CME Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.26, for a total value of $378,123.18. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 26,082 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,240,949.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 12,931 shares of company stock worth $1,576,260 in the last three months. 0.61% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its position in shares of CME Group by 0.5% in the third quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 3,726 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $389,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd increased its position in shares of CME Group by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd now owns 7,790 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $900,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Huntington National Bank increased its position in shares of CME Group by 4.7% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 851 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its stake in CME Group by 4.0% in the third quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,155 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. Finally, Johnson Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in CME Group by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 899 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the period. 80.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

CME has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CME Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $131.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 10th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $128.00 price target on shares of CME Group in a research report on Saturday, March 11th. Royal Bank of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $134.00 price target on shares of CME Group in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price target on shares of CME Group from $139.00 to $136.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of CME Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. CME Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $111.54.

Shares of CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) traded up 0.18% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $119.33. 438,239 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. CME Group has a 52 week low of $90.69 and a 52 week high of $127.60. The company has a 50-day moving average of $120.33 and a 200-day moving average of $115.89. The firm has a market cap of $40.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.34 and a beta of 0.88.

CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $913 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $881.46 million. CME Group had a net margin of 42.67% and a return on equity of 7.28%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.92 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that CME Group will post $4.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 27th. Investors of record on Friday, March 10th were issued a $0.66 dividend. This is an increase from CME Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 8th. CME Group’s payout ratio is 52.98%.

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About CME Group

CME Group Inc, through its exchanges, provides products across all asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals. The Company’s segment primarily consists of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc (CME), Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc (CBOT), New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange, Inc (COMEX) exchanges.

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