Linde PLC (NYSE:LIN) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 5,258,400 shares, a drop of 14.5% from the May 30th total of 6,148,000 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 1,820,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.9 days.

LIN has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on Diageo from GBX 3,100 ($40.51) to GBX 3,200 ($41.81) and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, June 7th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Air Products & Chemicals to $235.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. KeyCorp lowered Steris from an “overweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays set a $192.00 price target on Tesla and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 14th. Finally, Societe Generale reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Linde in a research note on Monday, April 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $201.01.

In related news, CEO Stephen F. Angel sold 56,574 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.27, for a total transaction of $11,160,352.98. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Christian Bruch purchased 1,474 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $179.21 per share, with a total value of $264,155.54. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LIN. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Linde in the 4th quarter valued at $2,624,717,000. Deutsche Bank AG purchased a new position in shares of Linde in the 4th quarter valued at $1,315,604,000. FMR LLC purchased a new position in shares of Linde in the 4th quarter valued at $1,245,211,000. Geode Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Linde in the 4th quarter valued at $997,692,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Linde by 33,491.9% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,907,437 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $863,366,000 after acquiring an additional 4,892,828 shares during the period. 72.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE LIN traded up $1.17 on Friday, reaching $203.98. 1,027,566 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,725,126. The company has a current ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $197.46. The company has a market cap of $110.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.77. Linde has a 12 month low of $145.95 and a 12 month high of $204.76.

Linde (NYSE:LIN) last issued its earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The basic materials company reported $1.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.15. The business had revenue of $6.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.03 billion. Linde had a return on equity of 14.95% and a net margin of 23.52%. Equities analysts anticipate that Linde will post 6.95 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd were given a dividend of $0.875 per share. This represents a $3.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 31st.

Linde Company Profile

Linde plc operates as an industrial gas company in primarily North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and South Korea. The company offers oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.

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