Lloyds Banking Group PLC (NYSE:LYG) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,478,553 shares, a growth of 58.5% from the July 13th total of 2,824,834 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,618,151 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 0.8 days.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LYG. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in shares of Lloyds Banking Group by 28.9% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,481,982 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $31,552,000 after buying an additional 1,903,723 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its holdings in shares of Lloyds Banking Group by 2.1% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 1,050,940 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,994,000 after buying an additional 22,107 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lloyds Banking Group by 33.1% during the first quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 103,329 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 25,725 shares in the last quarter. Opus Capital Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Lloyds Banking Group during the first quarter worth about $306,000. Finally, Boston Partners grew its holdings in shares of Lloyds Banking Group by 0.3% during the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 49,618,509 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $184,581,000 after buying an additional 172,228 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 2.61% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have weighed in on LYG. UBS Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Lloyds Banking Group in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lloyds Banking Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Lloyds Banking Group in a report on Monday, June 4th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Lloyds Banking Group from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Lloyds Banking Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lloyds Banking Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $4.25.

NYSE:LYG opened at $3.07 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.22. Lloyds Banking Group has a twelve month low of $3.02 and a twelve month high of $4.21. The stock has a market cap of $56.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.53 and a beta of 0.79.

The firm also recently announced a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.056 per share. This is an increase from Lloyds Banking Group’s previous Semi-Annual dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 16th. Lloyds Banking Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 40.00%.

About Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group plc provides banking and financial services under the Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Scottish Widows brands in the United Kingdom and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Retail, Commercial Banking, and Insurance and Wealth. The Retail segment offers a range of financial service products, including current accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, motor finance, and unsecured consumer lending products to personal and small business customers.

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