Parker-Hannifin Corp (NYSE:PH) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,130,000 shares, a growth of 14.5% from the January 15th total of 1,860,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 871,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.4 days. Currently, 1.7% of the shares of the company are sold short.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on PH shares. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Parker-Hannifin to $210.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 5th. Bank of America raised Parker-Hannifin from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 17th. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on Parker-Hannifin from $215.00 to $227.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 4th. Citigroup raised their target price on Parker-Hannifin from $195.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 31st. Finally, Wolfe Research set a $189.00 target price on Parker-Hannifin and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $211.27.

In related news, VP William R. Bowman sold 1,904 shares of Parker-Hannifin stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $208.83, for a total value of $397,612.32. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,622 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,382,872.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Andrew M. Weeks sold 3,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.38, for a total transaction of $751,425.00. Insiders have sold a total of 6,429 shares of company stock worth $1,304,440 over the last quarter. Insiders own 1.23% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in Parker-Hannifin in the 4th quarter worth about $1,093,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Parker-Hannifin by 1.1% during the 4th quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 28,971 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $5,963,000 after buying an additional 324 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors raised its holdings in Parker-Hannifin by 105.5% during the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 1,373 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 705 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its stake in Parker-Hannifin by 576.2% during the fourth quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 58,941 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $12,131,000 after buying an additional 50,225 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new stake in Parker-Hannifin during the fourth quarter valued at about $283,000. 80.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE PH traded down $1.19 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $211.84. 535,159 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 917,192. Parker-Hannifin has a fifty-two week low of $152.18 and a fifty-two week high of $215.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a current ratio of 1.38 and a quick ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market cap of $27.35 billion, a PE ratio of 20.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 1.55. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $204.99 and a 200-day simple moving average of $188.80.

Parker-Hannifin (NYSE:PH) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The industrial products company reported $2.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.27 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $3.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.45 billion. Parker-Hannifin had a return on equity of 25.18% and a net margin of 9.63%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.51 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Parker-Hannifin will post 10.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 7th will be issued a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 6th. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.66%. Parker-Hannifin’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 29.70%.

About Parker-Hannifin

Parker-Hannifin Corporation manufactures and sells motion and control technologies and systems for various mobile, industrial, and aerospace markets worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Diversified Industrial and Aerospace Systems. The Diversified Industrial segment provides static and dynamic sealing devices; filters, systems, and diagnostics solutions to monitor and remove contaminants from fuel, air, oil, water, and other liquids and gases; connectors, which control, transmit, and contain fluid; hydraulic, pneumatic, and electromechanical components and systems for builders and users of industrial and mobile machinery and equipment; and critical flow components for process instrumentation, healthcare, and ultra-high-purity applications, as well as components for use in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and in fluid control applications for processing, fuel dispensing, beverage dispensing, and mobile emissions.

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