Union Bankshares Corp (NASDAQ:UBSH) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,187,687 shares, an increase of 59.0% from the January 12th total of 1,375,966 shares. Approximately 5.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 710,804 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.1 days.

In related news, EVP John G. Jr. Stallings bought 1,373 shares of Union Bankshares stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 14th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $36.22 per share, with a total value of $49,730.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,582 shares in the company, valued at approximately $347,060.04. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 2.18% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its holdings in Union Bankshares by 8.8% during the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 3,789 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 307 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in Union Bankshares by 101.5% during the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,263 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 2,147 shares during the period. Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in Union Bankshares in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Canal Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Union Bankshares in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $238,000. Finally, Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Union Bankshares in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $242,000. 64.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on UBSH shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Union Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Saturday, January 13th. Brean Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Union Bankshares in a research report on Monday, October 30th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Union Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Merion Capital Group lifted their price objective on shares of Union Bankshares from $45.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $41.80.

Union Bankshares (UBSH) opened at $36.55 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $2,346.35, a P/E ratio of 21.89 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a current ratio of 0.94. Union Bankshares has a 1-year low of $29.50 and a 1-year high of $39.37.

Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $90.64 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $91.35 million. Union Bankshares had a net margin of 18.15% and a return on equity of 8.12%. equities analysts predict that Union Bankshares will post 2.56 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 20th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 5th. Union Bankshares’s payout ratio is 50.30%.

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About Union Bankshares

Union Bankshares Corporation is a financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: a community bank segment and mortgage loan origination business segment. The Company offers financial services through its community bank subsidiary, Union Bank & Trust (the Bank) and three non-bank financial services affiliates.

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