Peabody Energy Co. (NYSE:BTU) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,830,000 shares, a growth of 36.1% from the September 30th total of 3,550,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,130,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.3 days. Currently, 4.7% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In related news, major shareholder International L.P. Elliott acquired 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 27th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $17.43 per share, for a total transaction of $871,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Peabody Energy by 779.9% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 6,441 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $155,000 after acquiring an additional 5,709 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC bought a new position in Peabody Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $168,000. Jefferies Group LLC bought a new position in Peabody Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $219,000. Bogle Investment Management L P DE bought a new position in Peabody Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC increased its stake in Peabody Energy by 152.5% in the second quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC now owns 9,839 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $237,000 after acquiring an additional 5,943 shares during the last quarter. 98.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE BTU traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $9.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,071,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 939,487. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a current ratio of 1.74. Peabody Energy has a fifty-two week low of $9.30 and a fifty-two week high of $37.37. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $13.75 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $20.13. The company has a market cap of $1.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.77.

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The coal producer reported ($0.81) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.17) by ($0.64). Peabody Energy had a net margin of 6.92% and a return on equity of 6.72%. The business had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that Peabody Energy will post 0.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 30th will be paid a $0.145 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 29th. This represents a $0.58 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.01%. Peabody Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.41%.

Several brokerages have issued reports on BTU. BMO Capital Markets cut their price objective on shares of Peabody Energy to $14.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Deutsche Bank dropped their price target on shares of Peabody Energy from $30.00 to $28.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, August 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Peabody Energy from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $35.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Monday, August 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Peabody Energy from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Peabody Energy from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.00.

About Peabody Energy

Peabody Energy Corp. engages in the business of coal mining. It operates through the following segments: Powder River Basin Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Western U.S. Mining, Seaborne Metallurgical Mining, Seaborne Thermal Mining, and Corporate and Other. The Powder River Basin Mining segment consists of its mines in Wyoming.

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