Short-term stake in Stellus Capital Investment Co. (NYSE:SCM) drops 26.2%

Stellus Capital Investment Co. (NYSE: SCM – Get an assessment) benefited from a sharp drop in short-term interest rates during the month of May. As of May 15, there was short interest totaling 107,300 shares, down 26.2% from the April 30 total of 145,300 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 69,200 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 1.6 days. Currently, 0.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In other Stellus Capital Investment news, CEO Robert T. Ladd purchased 8,834 shares of Stellus Capital Investment in a trade that took place on Wednesday, May 18. The shares were purchased at an average price of $12.86 per share, for a total transaction of $113,605.24. As a result of the transaction, the CEO now directly owns 626,581 shares of the company, valued at $8,057,831.66. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 5.30% of the shares are held by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Cliffwater LLC increased its stake in Stellus Capital Investment by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. Cliffwater LLC now owns 219,388 shares of the investment management company valued at $3,047,000 after acquiring an additional 5,036 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Stellus Capital Investment by 69.0% in the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 97,995 shares of the investment management firm valued at $1,359,000 after acquiring an additional 40,002 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Stellus Capital Investment by 47.5% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 27,279 shares of the investment management company valued at $379,000 after acquiring 8,784 additional shares in the last quarter. Buckingham Strategic Partners acquired a new stake in Stellus Capital Investment in Q1 worth approximately $275,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Stellus Capital Investment in Q1 worth approximately $163,000. 16.41% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:SCM traded down $0.01 on Monday, hitting $12.90. 625 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 68,013. The company has a current ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.14 and a debt ratio of 1.27. Stellus Capital Investment has a 1 year minimum of $12.10 and a 1 year maximum of $14.74. The company has a market capitalization of $252.14 million, a price-earnings ratio of 7.37 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a 50-day moving average of $13.54 and a 200-day moving average of $13.51.

Stellus Capital Investments (NYSE: SCM – Get an assessment) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 11. The investment management firm reported EPS of $0.28 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $0.30 per ($0.02). Stellus Capital Investment posted a net margin of 51.94% and a return on equity of 8.61%. In the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.28 per share. As a group, analysts expect Stellus Capital Investment to post 1.18 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15. Investors of record on Thursday, June 30 will receive a dividend of $0.0933. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 29. This represents a dividend of $1.12 on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.68%. Stellus Capital Investment’s payout ratio is 64.00%.

SCM has been the subject of several recent research reports. StockNews.com launched a hedge on the shares of Stellus Capital Investment in a research note on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. The Hovde Group downgraded shares of Stellus Capital Investment from an “outperforming” rating to a “market performing” rating in a Wednesday, March 23 research note. To finish, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Stellus Capital Investment from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a Tuesday, May 17 research note. One investment analyst gave the stock a sell rating, two gave the company a hold rating and two gave the company a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $15.17.

About Stellus Capital Investment (Get an assessment)

Stellus Capital Investment Corporation is a business development firm specializing in investing in middle market private companies. It invests through senior, second-tier, unitranche and mezzanine debt, often with a matching equity investment. The fund prefers to invest in the United States and Canada.

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