Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH) sees a significant increase in short-term interest

Bank of Chile (NYSE: BCH – Get a rating) was the target of a sharp increase in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31, there was short interest totaling 1,220,000 shares, an increase of 100.2% from the May 15 total of 609,500 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume of 143,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 8.5 days.

A number of equity research analysts have recently commented on BCH shares. Scotiabank upgraded Banco de Chile from an “sector performance” rating to an “outperform” rating in a Wednesday, April 13 research note. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Banco de Chile from a “neutral” rating to an “outperforming” rating and raised its price target for the company from $18.00 to $25.00 in a Wednesday, March 2 report. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Banco de Chile in a Thursday, March 31, research note. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Banco de Chile from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a target price of $23.00 for the stock. in a research note on Thursday, February 17. Finally, Banco Santander upgraded Banco de Chile to a “buy” rating and set a target price of $25.00 on the stock in a Friday, May 20 research note. Four equity research analysts gave the stock a hold rating and four gave the company a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, Banco de Chile has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $23.67.

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Major investors have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. Ethic Inc. acquired a new stake in Banco de Chile in Q1 worth approximately $297,000. UBS Group AG increased its equity stake in Banco de Chile by 70.6% during the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 16,679 shares of the bank valued at $358,000 after purchasing an additional 6,904 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 1.3% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 597,813 shares of the bank worth $12,795,000 after purchasing an additional 7,462 shares in the last quarter. Banco BTG Pactual SA acquired a new stake in Banco de Chile during the 1st quarter for a value of approximately $3,268,000. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. increased its position in Banco de Chile shares by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 24,372 shares of the bank worth $522,000 after acquiring 612 additional shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 0.89% of the company’s shares.

NYSE:BCH shares opened at $19.45 on Monday. Banco de Chile has a 1-year low of $15.60 and a 1-year high of $22.74. The company has a debt ratio of 3.12, a current ratio of 1.53 and a quick ratio of 1.53. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $20.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $19.84. The company has a market capitalization of $9.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.97, a growth price-to-earnings ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 0.31.

Bank of Chile (NYSE: BCH – Get a rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 29. The bank reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.69 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.09. Banco de Chile had a net margin of 40.44% and a return on equity of 26.29%. The company posted revenue of $560.31 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $742.05 million. On average, sell-side analysts expect Banco de Chile to post earnings per share of 2.31 for the current year.

About Banco de Chile (Get a rating)

Banco de Chile, together with its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial products and services to customers in Chile. It operates through Retail, Wholesale and Treasury segments. The Company offers deposit products, such as checking accounts, current accounts, deposits and current accounts, savings accounts and term deposits; commercial, mortgage, consumer, working capital, syndicated and installment loans; and credit cards.

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