Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) Short Interest Down 6.5% in December

Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 11,730,000 shares, a decline of 6.5% from the December 15th total of 12,540,000 shares. Currently, 15.6% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 867,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 13.5 days.

Several analysts have weighed in on VIRT shares. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Virtu Financial from $20.00 to $19.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. Compass Point set a $18.00 target price on Virtu Financial and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. ValuEngine upgraded Virtu Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 11th. UBS Group lowered Virtu Financial from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $21.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Friday, November 8th. Finally, Citigroup set a $18.00 price objective on Virtu Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.81.

In other news, CEO Douglas A. Cifu acquired 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 7th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $16.24 per share, with a total value of $324,800.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 255,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,141,200. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 63.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VIRT. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Virtu Financial by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 249,364 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,432,000 after acquiring an additional 11,231 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Virtu Financial by 13.9% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 462,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,078,000 after acquiring an additional 56,300 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in Virtu Financial by 39.5% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 6,256 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $136,000 after acquiring an additional 1,773 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 421,761 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,186,000 after purchasing an additional 17,038 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 305.4% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 239,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,212,000 after purchasing an additional 180,266 shares in the last quarter. 66.67% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of VIRT opened at $15.35 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78, a quick ratio of 0.72 and a current ratio of 0.72. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $16.25 and a 200 day simple moving average of $18.14. Virtu Financial has a 52-week low of $15.08 and a 52-week high of $27.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.94 billion, a PE ratio of 7.83, a P/E/G ratio of 2.07 and a beta of -0.56.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 18.75% and a net margin of 2.55%. The firm had revenue of $245.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $241.79 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.22 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 37.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Virtu Financial will post 0.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 2nd were given a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 29th. Virtu Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.98%.

About Virtu Financial

Virtu Financial, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides market making and liquidity services through its proprietary, multi-asset, and multi-currency technology platform to the financial markets worldwide. The company's Market Making segment principally consists of market making in the cash, futures, and options markets across equities, options, fixed income, currencies, and commodities.

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