Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

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Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,897,500 shares, a growth of 13.6% from the July 15th total of 1,669,700 shares. Currently, 6.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 156,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 12.1 days.

Several analysts have issued reports on BMI shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Badger Meter from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $60.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, July 16th. Robert W. Baird set a $48.00 price target on shares of Badger Meter and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Maxim Group set a $64.00 price target on shares of Badger Meter and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut their price target on shares of Badger Meter from $54.00 to $49.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Badger Meter has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.80.

In other news, VP Horst Gras sold 2,083 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.29, for a total value of $108,920.07. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 483 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,256.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Richard A. Meeusen sold 8,571 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.85, for a total transaction of $487,261.35. Following the sale, the director now owns 74,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,239,986.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FMR LLC raised its stake in Badger Meter by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,060 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 169 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in Badger Meter by 1.8% in the second quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 11,476 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $685,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 0.6% during the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 45,164 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $2,696,000 after purchasing an additional 253 shares in the last quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 10.3% during the first quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 3,054 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $170,000 after purchasing an additional 284 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 3.4% during the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 9,350 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $520,000 after purchasing an additional 309 shares in the last quarter. 83.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Badger Meter stock traded down $0.19 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $49.95. 137,538 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 144,168. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $53.88 and its 200 day moving average is $55.88. The firm has a market cap of $1.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.44 and a beta of 0.80. Badger Meter has a 1 year low of $46.69 and a 1 year high of $61.57.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $103.54 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.11 million. Badger Meter had a return on equity of 15.45% and a net margin of 8.57%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.42 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Badger Meter will post 1.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Investors of record on Friday, August 30th will be paid a $0.17 dividend. This is an increase from Badger Meter’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 29th. Badger Meter’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.96%.

About Badger Meter

Badger Meter, Inc provides flow measurement, control, and communication solutions worldwide. It offers mechanical and electronic water meters, and related technologies and services to municipal water utilities; and meters and valves to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including water, air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases, as well as for use in water/wastewater, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, test and measurement, automotive aftermarket, and the concrete construction process industries.

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