WPP plc (NYSE:WPP – Get Rating) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 290,300 shares, a growth of 29.1% from the March 31st total of 224,800 shares. Approximately 0.1% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 168,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.7 days.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WPP. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in shares of WPP by 6.3% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 51,753 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,508,000 after acquiring an additional 3,062 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates bought a new stake in shares of WPP during the third quarter valued at approximately $6,524,000. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. increased its holdings in shares of WPP by 22.3% during the third quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 6,835 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $458,000 after acquiring an additional 1,244 shares in the last quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of WPP by 50.1% during the third quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 692 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $46,000 after acquiring an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of WPP by 0.3% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 464,340 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $31,130,000 after acquiring an additional 1,448 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 4.07% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts recently commented on the company. Berenberg Bank lifted their price objective on WPP from GBX 1,185 ($14.80) to GBX 1,230 ($15.37) in a research note on Friday, April 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on WPP from GBX 1,280 ($15.99) to GBX 1,330 ($16.61) in a research note on Thursday, April 28th. The Goldman Sachs Group lowered WPP from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Sunday, April 10th. Oddo Bhf lowered WPP from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 25th. Finally, Barclays lowered WPP from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, March 14th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, WPP currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $787.00.
The firm also recently announced a semi-annual dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 10th will be issued a $1.2505 dividend. This is an increase from WPP’s previous semi-annual dividend of $0.87. This represents a yield of 3%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 9th.
About WPP (Get Rating)
WPP plc, a creative transformation company, provides communications, experience, commerce, and technology services in North America, the United Kingdom, Western Continental Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. The company operates through three segments: Global Integrated Agencies, Public Relations, and Specialist Agencies.
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