Short-term interest on Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) rises 43.4%

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN – Get Rating) benefited from a sharp increase in short-term interest in August. As of August 31, there was short interest totaling 6,010,000 shares, an increase of 43.4% from the total of 4,190,000 shares as of August 15. Approximately 2.2% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,790,000 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 3.4 days.

Wall Street analysts predict growth

Several research firms have recently weighed in on GPN. Raymond James lowered its price target on Global Payments from $190.00 to $174.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a Tuesday, Aug. 2 research note. Truist Financial raised its price target on Global Payments from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a Tuesday, August 2 research report. Mizuho cut its price target on Global Payments from $148.00 to $132.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, August 3 report. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Global Payments from $123.00 to $141.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a Tuesday, Aug. 2 report. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised its price target on Global Payments from $217.00 to $232.00 in a Wednesday, August 3 report. Six analysts gave the stock a hold rating and twenty-two gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Global Payments has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $173.36.

Insider Buying and Selling at Global Payments

In other Global Payments news, CAO David M. Sheffield sold 3,500 shares of the company in a trade that took place on Wednesday August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.20, for a total value of $466,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 28,737 shares of the company, valued at approximately $3,827,768.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders hold 1.19% of the company’s shares.

Institutional investors weigh on global payments

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in GPN. Covestor Ltd acquired a new equity stake in Global Payments in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $61,000. MAI Capital Management increased its position in Global Payments by 33.8% during the fourth quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 3,979 shares of the business services provider valued at $538,000 after buying an additional 1,005 shares last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Global Payments by 1.9% during the fourth quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,415,357 shares of the business services provider valued at $191,329,000 after buying an additional 26,230 shares last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter worth approximately $763,000. Finally, Loews Corp acquired a new position in Global Payments during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $16,222,000. 85.61% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Performance of Global Payments shares

Global Payments stock traded down $0.75 at midday on Friday, hitting $130.68. 3,730,509 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 1,994,862. Global Payments has a 52-week low of $105.52 and a 52-week high of $165.17. The company has a debt ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.87. The company has a market capitalization of $36.22 billion, a price/earnings ratio of 725.15, a P/E/G ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.02. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $125.73 and its 200-day simple moving average is $126.67.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Monday, August 1. The business services provider reported EPS of $2.36 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates of $2.34 by $0.02. Global Payments had a return on equity of 9.24% and a net margin of 0.87%. The company posted revenue of $2.28 billion in the quarter, versus $2.09 billion expected by analysts. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings per share of $1.92. Global Payments quarterly revenue increased 6.7% year over year. On average, analysts expect Global Payments to post 9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Global Payments announced that its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase plan on Monday, August 1 that sees the company repurchase $1.50 billion worth of stock. This repurchase authorization allows the business services provider to acquire up to 4.2% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that a company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Global Payments Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 16 will receive a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 15. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.00 and a yield of 0.77%. Global Payments’ dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 555.59%.

Global Payments Company Profile

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Global Payments Inc provides payment technology and software solutions for card, electronic, check and digital payments in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. It operates through three segments: Merchant Solutions, Issuer Solutions and Business and Consumer Solutions. The Merchant Solutions segment offers authorization services, settlement and financing services, customer care and support functions, chargeback resolution, terminal leasing, sales and deployment, payment security, consolidated billing and statements, and online reporting services.

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