United States Cellular (USM) Hits New 52-Week High After Better-Than-Expected Earnings

United States Cellular Corp (NYSE:USM)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $54.31 and last traded at $53.08, with a volume of 8690 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $47.51.

The Wireless communications provider reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.24 by $0.17. United States Cellular had a net margin of 1.74% and a return on equity of 2.78%. The business had revenue of $1 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $993.91 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.11 EPS. United States Cellular’s revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United States Cellular from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 12th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of United States Cellular from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of United States Cellular from $49.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of United States Cellular from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $43.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. United States Cellular currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.67.

In other United States Cellular news, EVP Jay Ellison sold 11,931 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.11, for a total value of $478,552.41. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Steven T. Campbell sold 2,362 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.12, for a total transaction of $99,487.44. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 36,372 shares in the company, valued at $1,531,988.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 23,769 shares of company stock worth $997,088 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of USM. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of United States Cellular by 770.8% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 52,229 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $2,099,000 after acquiring an additional 46,231 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG boosted its position in shares of United States Cellular by 235.0% during the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 24,403 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $980,000 after acquiring an additional 17,119 shares in the last quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of United States Cellular during the 1st quarter valued at about $699,000. Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of United States Cellular during the 2nd quarter valued at about $442,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of United States Cellular during the 2nd quarter valued at about $459,000. Institutional investors own 15.54% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 2.66 and a current ratio of 2.90. The stock has a market cap of $4.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 96.55, a PEG ratio of 50.45 and a beta of 0.35.

United States Cellular Company Profile (NYSE:USM)

United States Cellular Corporation provides wireless telecommunications services in the United States. The company offers postpaid and prepaid service plans with voice, messaging, and data usage option services; and smartphone messaging, data, and Internet services, which allow the customer to access the Web and social network sites, e-mail, text, picture, and video messaging, as well as to utilize GPS navigation, and browse and download various applications.

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