Short Interest in The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG) Rises By 31.7%

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG – Get Rating) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totaling 2,490,000 shares, a growth of 31.7% from the August 31st total of 1,890,000 shares. Approximately 6.2% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 593,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.2 days.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

SMG has been the topic of several research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Scotts Miracle-Gro from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the company from $130.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. TheStreet lowered shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro from a “c” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. UBS Group lowered their price target on Scotts Miracle-Gro from $92.00 to $86.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reduced his price objective on Scotts Miracle-Gro from $116.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Finally, Raymond James cut their price target on shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro from $110.00 to $100.00 and set a “strong-buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $92.00.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Trading Down 8.0 %

Shares of NYSE:SMG traded down $3.86 during trading on Thursday, reaching $44.26. 30,882 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 835,031. Scotts Miracle-Gro has a fifty-two week low of $47.43 and a fifty-two week high of $180.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.55, a current ratio of 2.42 and a quick ratio of 1.10. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $70.15 and a 200-day simple moving average of $89.92.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The basic materials company reported $1.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.70 by $0.28. The firm had revenue of $1.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.23 billion. Scotts Miracle-Gro had a negative net margin of 6.36% and a positive return on equity of 36.80%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 26.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.98 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Scotts Miracle-Gro will post 4.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 26th were paid a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 25th. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s dividend payout ratio is currently -54.66%.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Scotts Miracle-Gro

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Loomis Sayles & Co. LP purchased a new position in Scotts Miracle-Gro in the 4th quarter worth approximately $10,477,000. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina boosted its position in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 1.6% during the 1st quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 15,127 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,860,000 after acquiring an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro by 4.7% in the first quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 51,211 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,837,000 after purchasing an additional 2,322 shares during the period. DA Davidson & CO. increased its position in Scotts Miracle-Gro by 2.0% during the first quarter. DA Davidson & CO. now owns 34,091 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,192,000 after purchasing an additional 655 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GHP Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Scotts Miracle-Gro in the 1st quarter valued at about $329,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.81% of the company’s stock.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Profile

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The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of products for lawn, garden care, and indoor and hydroponic gardening in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: US Consumer, Hawthorne, and Other. It provides lawn care products comprising lawn fertilizers, grass seed products, spreaders, other durable products, and outdoor cleaners, as well as lawn-related weed, pest, and disease control products; Gardening and landscape products include water-soluble and continuous-release plant foods, potting mixes and garden soils, mulch and decorative groundcover products, plant-related pest and disease control products, organic garden products, and lives goods and seeding solutions.

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