Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) Sees Significant Decline in Short Interest

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 26,512,796 shares, a drop of 18.1% from the September 15th total of 32,359,134 shares. Currently, 20.3% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 3,380,881 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.8 days.

RGC has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. MKM Partners upgraded shares of Regal Entertainment Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price 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 target price on the stock 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 report on Tuesday, October 10th. B. Riley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $24.75 price target (up previously from $24.00) on shares of Regal Entertainment Group in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $19.00 price target on shares of Regal Entertainment Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Regal Entertainment Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $22.90.

In other news, Director Thomas D. Bell, Jr. purchased 25,000 shares of Regal Entertainment Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $14.76 per share, for a total transaction of $369,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 126,939 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,873,619.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO David Ownby purchased 7,500 shares of Regal Entertainment Group 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 transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 229,573 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,223,204.92. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders acquired 242,500 shares of company stock worth $641,000. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Regal Entertainment Group by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,209,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $270,273,000 after purchasing an additional 380,951 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Regal Entertainment Group by 11.6% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 10,092,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,503,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048,051 shares in the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Regal Entertainment Group by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 7,261,026 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,561,000 after purchasing an additional 103,100 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Regal Entertainment Group by 20.7% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,659,346 shares of the company’s stock valued at $95,330,000 after purchasing an additional 797,847 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hamlin Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Regal Entertainment Group by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC now owns 4,335,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $69,368,000 after purchasing an additional 60,489 shares in the last quarter. 81.94% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE RGC) opened at 16.61 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $16.14 and a 200 day moving average of $18.75. Regal Entertainment Group has a 1-year low of $13.90 and a 1-year high of $24.79. The company has a market capitalization of $2.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.42 and a beta of 0.97.

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $716.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $701.66 million. Regal Entertainment Group had a net margin of 4.41% and a negative return on equity of 16.46%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.29 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Regal Entertainment Group will post $0.96 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 4th will be issued a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.30%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 1st. Regal Entertainment Group’s payout ratio is 101.15%.

Regal Entertainment Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, August 31st that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 2.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Regal Entertainment Group Company Profile

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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