Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB) Short interest up 8.1% in September

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB – Get Rating) was the target of strong short-term interest growth in September. As of September 15, there was short interest totaling 1,730,000 shares, up 8.1% from the August 31 total of 1,600,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 289,400 shares, the short-term interest rate ratio is currently 6.0 days. Approximately 3.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp trades up 3.3%

NYSE: BHLB traded up $0.92 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $28.54. The company’s shares had a trading volume of 3,537 shares, compared to an average volume of 304,998. The company has a market capitalization of $1.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.42 and a beta of 1.00. Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a 1-year low of $23.62 and a 1-year high of $31.78. The company has a debt ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 0.85. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $28.68 and a 200-day simple moving average of $27.09.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE:BHLB – Get Rating) last announced its results on Wednesday, July 20. The savings and loan company reported earnings per share of $0.51 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $0.46 by $0.05. The company posted revenue of $97.71 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $96.78 million. Berkshire Hills Bancorp had a net margin of 28.30% and a return on equity of 8.08%. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.44. Research analysts expect Berkshire Hills Bancorp to post EPS of 2.08 for the current fiscal year.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 25. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 11 received a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a dividend of $0.48 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10. Berkshire Hills Bancorp’s payout ratio is 18.11%.

Institutional investors weigh in on Berkshire Hills Bancorp

A number of large investors have recently changed their holdings in BHLB. Advisor Partners LLC bought a new position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp during Q1 worth approximately $206,000. Barclays PLC increased its position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 21.5% in the fourth quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 116,516 shares in the savings and loan company valued at $3,313,000 after acquiring an additional 20,655 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp during Q1 worth approximately $87,000. The Swiss National Bank raised its position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 6.8% in the first quarter. The Swiss National Bank now owns 115,000 shares in the savings and loan company valued at $3,332,000 after acquiring an additional 7,300 shares during the period. Finally, Maryland State Retirement & Pension System increased its stake in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 2.2% in the first quarter. Maryland State Retirement & Pension System now owns 19,682 shares of the savings and loan company worth $570,000 after buying 430 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 80.61% of the company’s shares.

A Wall Street analyst gives his opinion

A number of research companies have weighed in on BHLB recently. Piper Sandler raised her target price on Berkshire Hills Bancorp stock to $29.00 in a Friday, July 22 research report. Janney Montgomery Scott moved Berkshire Hills Bancorp shares from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a price target of $31.00 for the company in a Thursday, July 21 report. The Hovde Group launched a hedge on Berkshire Hills Bancorp shares in a Tuesday, September 13 report. They issued an “outperform” rating and a price target of $33.00 for the company. Finally, upgraded Berkshire Hills Bancorp shares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a Wednesday, September 21 research note. One equity research analyst gave the stock a sell rating, two issued a hold rating and two issued a buy rating for the company’s stock. Based on data from, Berkshire Hills Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.60.

About Berkshire Hills Bancorp

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Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc operates as a banking holding company for Berkshire Bank which provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit accounts, including demand deposit, NOW, regular savings, money market savings, term deposit certificates and retirement deposit accounts; and loans, such as commercial real estate, commercial and industrial, consumer and residential loans.

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