Short Interest in United States Cellular Corp (NYSE:USM) Expands By 28.4%

United States Cellular Corp (NYSE:USM) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,231,600 shares, an increase of 28.4% from the May 30th total of 959,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 248,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.0 days. Currently, 8.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Several analysts recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Vistra Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Kimberly Clark from $132.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 18th. Raymond James restated an “average” rating on shares of PPL in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heritage Insurance from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.50.

In related news, insider Kenneth R. Meyers sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.05, for a total transaction of $1,321,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 100,632 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,432,839.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth R. Meyers sold 16,045 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total transaction of $758,286.70. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 99,726 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,713,050.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 112,472 shares of company stock valued at $5,257,975. Company insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 11.4% during the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 829,713 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $38,094,000 after purchasing an additional 84,658 shares during the last quarter. AJO LP increased its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 20.2% during the 1st quarter. AJO LP now owns 504,217 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $23,149,000 after purchasing an additional 84,900 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of United States Cellular during the 4th quarter worth $15,669,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. increased its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 21.1% during the 4th quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 267,014 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $13,877,000 after purchasing an additional 46,446 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 280.0% during the 1st quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 228,867 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $10,507,000 after purchasing an additional 168,639 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 16.91% of the company’s stock.

United States Cellular stock traded up $0.74 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $46.47. The company had a trading volume of 140,839 shares, compared to its average volume of 226,219. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.02, a P/E/G ratio of 33.69 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a quick ratio of 2.10, a current ratio of 2.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. The company’s fifty day moving average is $45.88. United States Cellular has a fifty-two week low of $32.33 and a fifty-two week high of $59.74.

United States Cellular (NYSE:USM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.16. The firm had revenue of $966.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $980.16 million. United States Cellular had a net margin of 4.01% and a return on equity of 3.76%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.52 EPS. As a group, analysts expect that United States Cellular will post 1.36 EPS for the current year.

About United States Cellular

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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