Short Interest in West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (NYSE:WFG) Expands By 21.3%

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (NYSE:WFGGet Rating) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 2,110,000 shares, an increase of 21.3% from the April 15th total of 1,740,000 shares. Currently, 2.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 339,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.2 days.

NYSE WFG traded down $1.01 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $89.77. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,474 shares, compared to its average volume of 372,634. The company has a current ratio of 3.55, a quick ratio of 2.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 3.04 and a beta of -0.32. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $86.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $89.44. West Fraser Timber has a 12 month low of $64.72 and a 12 month high of $102.61.

West Fraser Timber (NYSE:WFGGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $10.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $7.84 by $2.41. West Fraser Timber had a return on equity of 42.84% and a net margin of 29.88%. The business had revenue of $3.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.83 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $6.96 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that West Fraser Timber will post 25.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 18th were issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. This is an increase from West Fraser Timber’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 17th. West Fraser Timber’s dividend payout ratio is presently 3.34%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in West Fraser Timber during the 4th quarter worth about $372,878,000. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its holdings in West Fraser Timber by 902.1% during the 3rd quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 1,773,041 shares of the company’s stock worth $149,156,000 after acquiring an additional 1,596,105 shares during the period. Scotia Capital Inc. grew its holdings in West Fraser Timber by 410.5% during the 1st quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 595,166 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,918,000 after acquiring an additional 478,574 shares during the period. FIL Ltd grew its holdings in West Fraser Timber by 17.0% during the 3rd quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 3,087,772 shares of the company’s stock worth $260,070,000 after acquiring an additional 448,538 shares during the period. Finally, Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd. grew its holdings in West Fraser Timber by 45.1% during the 1st quarter. Waratah Capital Advisors Ltd. now owns 993,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $81,721,000 after acquiring an additional 308,912 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.44% of the company’s stock.

WFG has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. TD Securities lowered their target price on shares of West Fraser Timber from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. Scotiabank upped their target price on shares of West Fraser Timber from C$143.00 to C$147.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of West Fraser Timber from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $133.93.

About West Fraser Timber (Get Rating)

West Fraser Timber Co Ltd., a diversified wood products company, engages in manufacturing, selling, marketing, and distributing lumber, engineered wood products, pulp, newsprint, wood chips, and other residuals and renewable energy. It offers spruce-pine-fir and southern yellow pine lumber, treated wood products, medium density fiberboard panels and plywood, oriented strand board, and laminated veneer lumber wood products.

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