Uniti Group Inc (NASDAQ:UNIT) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Uniti Group Inc (NASDAQ:UNIT) saw a significant increase in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 32,170,000 shares, an increase of 12.8% from the December 15th total of 28,510,000 shares. Approximately 18.4% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,130,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 10.3 days.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Uniti Group by 11.2% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 28,213 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $268,000 after acquiring an additional 2,831 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Uniti Group by 19.2% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 124,046 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,178,000 after acquiring an additional 19,957 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Uniti Group by 33.3% during the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,214,739 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $21,041,000 after acquiring an additional 552,805 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in Uniti Group by 9.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,895,184 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $27,503,000 after acquiring an additional 246,230 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in Uniti Group by 9.6% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,513,649 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $14,379,000 after acquiring an additional 132,603 shares during the period. 81.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Uniti Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Uniti Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Uniti Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $11.96.

Uniti Group stock opened at $8.22 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 3.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.10. Uniti Group has a 1-year low of $5.24 and a 1-year high of $20.14. The company’s 50-day moving average is $7.65 and its 200 day moving average is $7.83.

Uniti Group (NASDAQ:UNIT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The real estate investment trust reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by ($0.54). The business had revenue of $263.63 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $270.14 million. Uniti Group had a net margin of 3.06% and a negative return on equity of 2.17%. On average, equities analysts predict that Uniti Group will post 2.04 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be issued a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 10.71%. This is an increase from Uniti Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 30th. Uniti Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.06%.

Uniti Group Company Profile

Uniti, an internally managed real estate investment trust, is engaged in the acquisition and construction of mission critical communications infrastructure, and is a leading provider of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. As of December 31, 2018, Uniti owns 5.5 million fiber strand miles, approximately 928 wireless towers, and other communications real estate throughout the United States and Latin America.

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