Eastman Chemical (NYSE:EMN) was the target of a large decline in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,046,900 shares, a decline of 11.8% from the June 30th total of 2,320,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,110,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days. Currently, 1.5% of the company’s stock are short sold.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Eastman Chemical by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,829,482 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,154,178,000 after acquiring an additional 49,886 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Eastman Chemical by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,623,525 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $806,114,000 after acquiring an additional 134,439 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Eastman Chemical by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,357,122 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $566,794,000 after acquiring an additional 460,512 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management lifted its position in Eastman Chemical by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 5,610,418 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $436,658,000 after acquiring an additional 17,575 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Eastman Chemical by 25.7% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,477,400 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $348,476,000 after acquiring an additional 916,232 shares in the last quarter. 82.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts have weighed in on the company. Cowen reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $77.00 price objective (down from $83.00) on shares of Eastman Chemical in a research report on Monday, August 5th. Tudor Pickering raised Eastman Chemical from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday. UBS Group set a $98.00 price objective on Eastman Chemical and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. ValuEngine raised Eastman Chemical from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $80.00 price objective on Eastman Chemical and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.38.

Shares of EMN traded up $0.57 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $64.25. The company had a trading volume of 1,456,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,166,537. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 1.58 and a quick ratio of 0.80. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $75.03. Eastman Chemical has a 52 week low of $63.43 and a 52 week high of $100.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.33.

Eastman Chemical (NYSE:EMN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.99 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.09 by ($0.10). Eastman Chemical had a return on equity of 17.76% and a net margin of 9.45%. The company had revenue of $2.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.55 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.22 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Eastman Chemical will post 7.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 4th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.86%. Eastman Chemical’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.24%.

Eastman Chemical Company Profile

Eastman Chemical Company operates as an advanced materials and specialty additives company worldwide. The company's Additives & Functional Products segment offers specialty coalescent, specialty and commodity solvents, paint additives, and specialty polymers; hydrocarbon and rosin resins; insoluble sulfur and anti-degradant rubber additives; performance resins; amine derivative-based building blocks; heat transfer and aviation fluids; organic acid-based solutions; and metam-based soil fumigants, thiram and ziram based fungicides, and plant growth regulators.

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