Short Interest in Linde PLC (NYSE:LIN) Decreases By 14.5%

Linde PLC (NYSE:LIN) was the target of a large decline in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 5,258,400 shares, a decline of 14.5% from the May 30th total of 6,148,000 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,820,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.9 days.

In other news, VP Eduardo F. Menezes sold 19,056 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $188.23, for a total value of $3,586,910.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen F. Angel sold 56,574 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.27, for a total value of $11,160,352.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Linde by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,573,871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,554,790,000 after purchasing an additional 636,524 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Linde in the 4th quarter worth about $2,624,717,000. Deutsche Bank AG acquired a new position in Linde in the 4th quarter worth about $1,315,604,000. FMR LLC raised its holdings in Linde by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,219,013 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,440,632,000 after purchasing an additional 364,348 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Linde in the 4th quarter worth about $997,692,000. 72.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on LIN. KeyCorp cut Steris from an “overweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a report on Tuesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Linde in a report on Friday, June 21st. Barclays set a $192.00 price objective on Tesla and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut HEXO from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Diageo from GBX 3,100 ($40.51) to GBX 3,200 ($41.81) and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, June 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $201.01.

NYSE LIN traded up $1.17 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $203.98. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,027,566 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,725,126. The stock has a market capitalization of $110.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.77. Linde has a 1-year low of $145.95 and a 1-year high of $204.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 1.35 and a quick ratio of 1.20. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $197.46.

Linde (NYSE:LIN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The basic materials company reported $1.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.54 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $6.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.03 billion. Linde had a return on equity of 14.95% and a net margin of 23.52%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Linde will post 6.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd were issued a $0.875 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 31st. This represents a $3.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.72%.

Linde Company Profile

Linde plc operates as an industrial gas company in primarily North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and South Korea. The company offers oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.

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