Linde plc (NYSE:LIN) Short Interest Up 20.4% in August

Linde plc (NYSE:LIN) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,540,000 shares, an increase of 20.4% from the August 15th total of 2,940,000 shares. Approximately 0.7% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,800,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days.

Shares of LIN stock traded up $3.12 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $308.08. 21,701 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,805,563. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 0.71. Linde has a one year low of $214.14 and a one year high of $317.03. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $306.25 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $293.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $159.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 49.07, a P/E/G ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.78.

Linde (NYSE:LIN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $2.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.53 by $0.17. Linde had a net margin of 11.37% and a return on equity of 10.54%. The business had revenue of $7.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.90 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 18.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Linde will post 10.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 3rd were given a dividend of $1.06 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 2nd. This represents a $4.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.38%. Linde’s payout ratio is 51.52%.

Several analysts recently issued reports on LIN shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Linde from $350.00 to $356.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, August 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Societe Generale increased their price target on Linde from $350.00 to $365.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 17th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Linde in a report on Monday, September 6th. HSBC increased their price target on Linde from $272.00 to $333.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Linde from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $310.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, July 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, Linde currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $337.36.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. TCW Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Linde by 39.4% in the second quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 33,857 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,788,000 after acquiring an additional 9,562 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its holdings in Linde by 134.3% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 18,163 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,251,000 after acquiring an additional 10,410 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its holdings in Linde by 7.9% in the first quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 15,890 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,451,000 after acquiring an additional 1,158 shares during the last quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. lifted its holdings in Linde by 0.8% in the second quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 61,484 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $17,776,000 after acquiring an additional 472 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board lifted its holdings in Linde by 4.4% in the first quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 338,458 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $94,816,000 after acquiring an additional 14,120 shares during the last quarter. 72.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Linde Company Profile

Linde Plc engages in the production and distribution of industrial gases. It operates through the following segments: Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); Asia and South Pacific (APAC); Engineering; and Other. The America segment operates production facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.

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