Sensient Technologies Co. (NYSE:SXT) was the target of a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,044,401 shares, a growth of 54.1% from the January 12th total of 677,792 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 391,755 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.7 days. Currently, 2.4% of the company’s stock are sold short.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SXT. Tyers Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Sensient Technologies in the 4th quarter valued at about $129,000. Flinton Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Sensient Technologies in the 4th quarter valued at about $164,000. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Sensient Technologies by 89.6% in the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,326 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $169,000 after purchasing an additional 1,099 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Sensient Technologies by 44.1% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,556 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $187,000 after purchasing an additional 782 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of Sensient Technologies by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,825 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $227,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.12% of the company’s stock.

Sensient Technologies (SXT) opened at $71.70 on Thursday. Sensient Technologies has a 1-year low of $65.60 and a 1-year high of $84.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 3.39 and a quick ratio of 1.25. The company has a market cap of $3,022.44, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.98.

Sensient Technologies (NYSE:SXT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84. Sensient Technologies had a net margin of 6.58% and a return on equity of 17.37%. The firm had revenue of $328.87 million for the quarter. equities analysts expect that Sensient Technologies will post 3.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Sensient Technologies declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 19th that permits the company to repurchase 3,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the specialty chemicals company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 6th will be issued a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 5th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.84%. Sensient Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 65.02%.

A number of brokerages have commented on SXT. Gabelli upgraded shares of Sensient Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday. TheStreet lowered shares of Sensient Technologies from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Off Wall Street began coverage on shares of Sensient Technologies in a report on Monday, December 18th. They issued a “sell” rating on the stock. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Sensient Technologies in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $90.77.

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About Sensient Technologies

Sensient Technologies Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. The Company uses technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals.

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