CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest in the month of July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 14,958,592 shares, a decline of 16.1% from the June 30th total of 17,835,198 shares. Currently, 7.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,513,958 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 9.9 days.

CIT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. BidaskClub raised shares of CIT Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of CIT Group in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of CIT Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. ValuEngine lowered shares of CIT Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of CIT Group in a report on Sunday, July 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.96.

In other CIT Group news, insider James L. Hudak sold 2,250 shares of CIT Group stock in a transaction on Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $100,125.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 59,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,653,134.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Edward K. Sperling sold 4,480 shares of CIT Group stock in a transaction on Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.76, for a total transaction of $205,004.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,562 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $483,317.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 15,974 shares of company stock valued at $726,471 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.47% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CIT. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its position in shares of CIT Group by 0.7% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 117,500 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,044,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of CIT Group by 9.9% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 683,988 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $29,364,000 after buying an additional 61,670 shares in the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of CIT Group during the first quarter worth $388,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. purchased a new position in shares of CIT Group during the first quarter worth $21,506,000. Finally, Twin Tree Management LP increased its position in shares of CIT Group by 35.8% in the first quarter. Twin Tree Management LP now owns 50,583 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,172,000 after buying an additional 13,324 shares in the last quarter. 99.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

CIT Group (CIT) opened at 47.48 on Friday. The firm’s market cap is $6.43 billion. CIT Group has a one year low of $33.49 and a one year high of $50.40. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $48.56 and a 200 day moving average of $44.96.

CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by $0.08. CIT Group had a net margin of 6.81% and a return on equity of 1.92%. The business had revenue of $605 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $500.05 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.07 earnings per share. CIT Group’s quarterly revenue was down 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that CIT Group will post $2.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

CIT Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, April 27th that permits the company to buyback $2.75 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 29.5% of its shares through a dutch auction. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Investors of record on Friday, August 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. CIT Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently -18.02%.

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About CIT Group

CIT Group Inc (CIT) is a bank holding company (BHC) and a financial holding company (FHC). The Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides financing, leasing and advisory services to middle market companies in a range of industries in North America. The Company’s segments include Commercial Banking, Consumer Banking, Non-Strategic Portfolios, and Corporate and Other.

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