Utilities SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLU) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 49,206,969 shares, a growth of 9.2% from the December 15th total of 45,060,689 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 12,472,783 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.9 days.

Shares of Utilities SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLU) opened at $49.99 on Friday. Utilities SPDR has a 12 month low of $48.11 and a 12 month high of $57.23. The company has a market capitalization of $7,220.00 and a PE ratio of 15.82.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 26th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 18th were paid a dividend of $0.5112 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.09%. This is a positive change from Utilities SPDR’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 15th. Utilities SPDR’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.38%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Utilities SPDR by 63.9% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 10,000 shares of the exchange traded fund’s stock worth $520,000 after acquiring an additional 3,900 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR bought a new position in shares of Utilities SPDR during the second quarter worth about $231,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Utilities SPDR by 68.0% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 296,741 shares of the exchange traded fund’s stock worth $15,407,000 after acquiring an additional 120,125 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new position in shares of Utilities SPDR during the second quarter worth about $120,000. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its position in shares of Utilities SPDR by 1.1% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 217,390 shares of the exchange traded fund’s stock worth $11,295,000 after acquiring an additional 2,290 shares during the last quarter.

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About Utilities SPDR

Select Sector Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (the Fund), formerly Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund, seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Utilities Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index (the Index). The Index includes companies from industries, such as electric utilities, multi-utilities, independent power producers and energy traders, and gas utilities.

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