National CineMedia (NASDAQ:NCMI) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National CineMedia (NASDAQ:NCMI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $9.25 price objective on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “NATIONAL CINEMEDIA operates the largest digital in theatre network in North America that allows them to distribute advertisements and other content for our advertising, meetings and events businesses utilizing our proprietary digital content network. They have long term exhibitor services agreements with our founding members, Cinemark and Regal, the three largest motion picture exhibition companies in the U.S.and multi year agreements with several other theatre operators whom they refer to as network affiliates. The network affiliate agreements grant them exclusive rights, subject to limited exceptions, to sell advertising on their theatre screens. “

NCMI has been the topic of several other reports. Wedbush raised National CineMedia from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $8.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. BidaskClub raised National CineMedia from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Saturday, August 31st. ValuEngine downgraded National CineMedia from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, May 24th. Barrington Research restated a market perform rating on shares of National CineMedia in a research note on Friday, May 17th. Finally, B. Riley set a $10.00 price objective on National CineMedia and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. National CineMedia has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $9.08.

NASDAQ NCMI opened at $8.10 on Friday. National CineMedia has a one year low of $5.88 and a one year high of $10.94. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $7.50 and a 200 day moving average of $7.19. The company has a market capitalization of $643.61 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.89 and a beta of 0.71.

National CineMedia (NASDAQ:NCMI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 5th. The business services provider reported $0.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.01. National CineMedia had a negative return on equity of 36.78% and a net margin of 8.12%. The business had revenue of $110.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $113.07 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.05 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that National CineMedia will post 0.46 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 15th were given a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 8.40%. National CineMedia’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 183.78%.

In related news, major shareholder General L.P. Standard acquired 175,000 shares of National CineMedia stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $7.38 per share, for a total transaction of $1,291,500.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 527,000 shares of company stock worth $4,001,060. 3.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL lifted its holdings in shares of National CineMedia by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL now owns 36,000 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $236,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its position in National CineMedia by 7.5% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 43,000 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $282,000 after purchasing an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ increased its position in National CineMedia by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ now owns 74,000 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $485,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of National CineMedia in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $32,000. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of National CineMedia by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 64,790 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $425,000 after acquiring an additional 5,000 shares during the period. 89.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

National CineMedia Company Profile

National CineMedia, Inc, through its subsidiary, National CineMedia, LLC, operates a digital in-theater network in North America. The company engages in the sale of advertising to national, regional, and local businesses in Noovie, a cinema advertising and entertainment pre-show seen on movie screens; and sells advertising on its Lobby Entertainment Network, a series of strategically-placed screens located in movie theater lobbies, as well as other forms of advertising and promotions in theatre lobbies.

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