Short Interest in Hope Bancorp Inc (HOPE) Increases By 44.8%

Hope Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:HOPE) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 2,484,920 shares, an increase of 44.8% from the November 30th total of 1,715,938 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 489,672 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.1 days. Approximately 1.9% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Shares of Hope Bancorp (NASDAQ:HOPE) opened at $18.10 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The company has a market capitalization of $2,449.81, a P/E ratio of 15.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.39. Hope Bancorp has a 52-week low of $17.14 and a 52-week high of $19.53.

Hope Bancorp (NASDAQ:HOPE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $139.51 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $137.93 million. Hope Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.74% and a net margin of 26.16%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.22 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Hope Bancorp will post 1.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Alex Ko sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.92, for a total value of $756,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 10,088 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $190,864.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jason K. Kim sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.97, for a total value of $113,820.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 70,729 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,341,729.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 121,981 shares of company stock worth $2,303,614. Corporate insiders own 5.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HOPE. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Hope Bancorp by 295.1% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,881,006 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $72,381,000 after acquiring an additional 2,898,811 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Hope Bancorp by 12.6% during the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,578,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $151,931,000 after acquiring an additional 960,796 shares during the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. purchased a new stake in shares of Hope Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $10,205,000. LSV Asset Management increased its position in shares of Hope Bancorp by 114.6% during the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 697,303 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $13,004,000 after acquiring an additional 372,403 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Hope Bancorp by 5.1% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 7,497,731 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $139,835,000 after acquiring an additional 363,079 shares during the last quarter. 80.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently commented on HOPE. Zacks Investment Research raised Hope Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. ValuEngine raised Hope Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Raymond James Financial reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Hope Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $18.50 price objective on shares of Hope Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, DA Davidson reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $21.00 price objective on shares of Hope Bancorp in a research note on Monday, September 18th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hope Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.58.

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About Hope Bancorp

Hope Bancorp, Inc, formerly BBCN Bancorp, Inc, is the holding company of Bank of Hope. Bank of Hope is the regional Korean-American bank in the United States. Bank of Hope operates approximately 85 full-service branches in California, Washington, Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama.

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