Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) Shares Gap Up Following Dividend Announcement

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday following a dividend announcement from the company. The stock had previously closed at $15.72, but opened at $16.41. Regal Entertainment Group shares last traded at $16.51, with a volume of 1,927,981 shares changing hands.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 4th will be given a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.36%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 1st. Regal Entertainment Group’s payout ratio is 82.24%.

A number of analysts recently commented on RGC shares. MKM Partners upgraded shares of Regal Entertainment Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $20.00 to $22.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Regal Entertainment Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $17.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Regal Entertainment Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Regal Entertainment Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective on shares of Regal Entertainment Group in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.90.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $16.14 and a 200-day moving average price of $18.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.381 and a beta of 0.97.

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $716.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $701.66 million. Regal Entertainment Group had a net margin of 5.24% and a negative return on equity of 20.42%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.29 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Regal Entertainment Group will post $0.96 earnings per share for the current year.

Regal Entertainment Group announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, August 31st that allows the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 2.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Thomas D. Bell, Jr. purchased 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $14.76 per share, for a total transaction of $369,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 126,939 shares in the company, valued at $1,873,619.64. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO David Ownby purchased 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $14.04 per share, for a total transaction of $105,300.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 229,573 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,223,204.92. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have bought 242,500 shares of company stock valued at $641,000. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Regal Entertainment Group by 3.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,209,774 shares of the company’s stock worth $270,273,000 after purchasing an additional 380,951 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Regal Entertainment Group by 11.6% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 10,092,993 shares of the company’s stock worth $206,503,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048,051 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its holdings in Regal Entertainment Group by 1.4% during the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 7,261,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,561,000 after purchasing an additional 103,100 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Regal Entertainment Group by 20.7% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,659,346 shares of the company’s stock worth $95,330,000 after purchasing an additional 797,847 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hamlin Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Regal Entertainment Group by 1.4% during the third quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC now owns 4,335,507 shares of the company’s stock worth $69,368,000 after purchasing an additional 60,489 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.94% of the company’s stock.

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About Regal Entertainment Group

Regal Entertainment Group is an operator of theatre circuits in the United States. As of March 31, 2017, the Company operated 7,262 screens in 559 theatres in 43 states along with Guam, Saipan, American Samoa and the District of Columbia. The Company manages its business under theatre exhibition operations segment.

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