Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) was the target of a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 10,200,000 shares, a growth of 6.6% from the January 15th total of 9,570,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,720,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.8 days. Currently, 1.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.
A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price target on Cognizant Technology Solutions to $75.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 28th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on Cognizant Technology Solutions from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday. Needham & Company LLC downgraded Cognizant Technology Solutions from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 22nd. Wolfe Research downgraded Cognizant Technology Solutions from a “peer perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $65.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. Finally, Edward Jones raised Cognizant Technology Solutions from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 11th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.24.
In other news, General Counsel Matthew W. Friedrich sold 9,890 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.19, for a total transaction of $605,169.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Karen Mcloughlin sold 725 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $46,066.50. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 67,301 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,276,305.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 313,189 shares of company stock worth $19,422,499 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.56% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions by 3.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 48,909,575 shares of the information technology service provider’s stock worth $3,100,379,000 after purchasing an additional 1,756,108 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,190,247 shares of the information technology service provider’s stock worth $1,438,259,000 after purchasing an additional 498,861 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions by 14.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 19,713,105 shares of the information technology service provider’s stock worth $1,222,606,000 after purchasing an additional 2,438,257 shares during the last quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP raised its stake in shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions by 24.8% in the third quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP now owns 13,055,572 shares of the information technology service provider’s stock worth $786,794,000 after purchasing an additional 2,597,844 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its stake in shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions by 41.8% in the fourth quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 9,823,283 shares of the information technology service provider’s stock worth $609,240,000 after purchasing an additional 2,893,642 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.39% of the company’s stock.
Shares of CTSH stock opened at $68.42 on Friday. Cognizant Technology Solutions has a 1-year low of $56.73 and a 1-year high of $74.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $63.20 and its 200 day moving average is $62.36. The company has a market cap of $38.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.80, a PEG ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 2.55 and a quick ratio of 2.53.
Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 5th. The information technology service provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.04 by $0.03. Cognizant Technology Solutions had a return on equity of 20.60% and a net margin of 10.98%. The company had revenue of $4.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Cognizant Technology Solutions will post 4.09 EPS for the current year.
Cognizant Technology Solutions announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 5th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the information technology service provider to purchase up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 28th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 18th will be paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 14th. This is a boost from Cognizant Technology Solutions’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.29%. Cognizant Technology Solutions’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.05%.
About Cognizant Technology Solutions
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a professional services company, provides consulting and technology, and outsourcing services worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Financial Services; Healthcare; Products and Resources; and Communications, Media and Technology. It offers analytics and artificial intelligence, digital engineering, intelligent process automation, interactive, and hybrid cloud services and solutions; and application development, systems integration, application testing and maintenance, infrastructure, and business process services.
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