SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

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SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,315,800 shares, a growth of 10.4% from the July 31st total of 3,004,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 339,300 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.8 days. Approximately 3.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In related news, Director Richard Dean Hollis purchased 75,360 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was bought at an average price of $2.08 per share, with a total value of $156,748.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 334,279 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $695,300.32. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Geradus Joseph Maria Versteegh purchased 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $2.15 per share, with a total value of $215,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 185,889 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $399,661.35. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 294,670 shares of company stock valued at $639,810 over the last ninety days. 1.75% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Royal Bank of Canada grew its position in shares of SunOpta by 53.9% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 13,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,000 after purchasing an additional 4,686 shares during the period. Hollencrest Capital Management purchased a new stake in shares of SunOpta in the first quarter valued at $87,000. Aperio Group LLC grew its position in shares of SunOpta by 76.4% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $84,000 after purchasing an additional 11,097 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of SunOpta in the fourth quarter valued at $117,000. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new stake in shares of SunOpta in the second quarter valued at $158,000. 77.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

SunOpta stock traded up $0.04 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $2.45. 2,046,910 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 329,269. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 1.23. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $2.42 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $3.27. SunOpta has a 12-month low of $1.98 and a 12-month high of $7.95.

SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $293.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $302.40 million. SunOpta had a negative return on equity of 14.49% and a negative net margin of 6.93%. On average, analysts anticipate that SunOpta will post -0.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded SunOpta from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday. Citigroup set a $3.00 price target on SunOpta and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 12th. BidaskClub downgraded SunOpta from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, June 24th. Finally, ValuEngine raised SunOpta from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $3.00.

About SunOpta

SunOpta Inc sources non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients; and manufactures food and beverage products in the United States, Canada, Europe, and internationally. The company operates through Global Ingredients and Consumer Products segments. The Global Ingredients segment offers organic fruit- and vegetable-based raw materials and ingredients, sweeteners, cocoa, coffees, ancient grains, nuts, seeds and pulses, and other organic food products; identity preserved, non-GMO, and organic seeds and grains, including soy, corn, and sunflower; and seed and grain-based animal feed, and pet food products.

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