Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) saw a significant increase in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 484,700 shares, an increase of 12.6% from the January 15th total of 430,500 shares. Currently, 7.5% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 57,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 8.5 days.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in Virtus Investment Partners by 1.2% during the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 10,371 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock valued at $1,147,000 after buying an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Virtus Investment Partners by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 31,185 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $3,796,000 after buying an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners by 28.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,096 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $133,000 after acquiring an additional 246 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Virtus Investment Partners in the 3rd quarter worth $34,000. Finally, 6 Meridian lifted its position in Virtus Investment Partners by 13.3% during the 4th quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 2,675 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $326,000 after acquiring an additional 314 shares during the last quarter. 88.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

VRTS opened at $136.08 on Friday. Virtus Investment Partners has a twelve month low of $87.88 and a twelve month high of $141.79. The firm has a market cap of $950.06 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.68, a PEG ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.53. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $127.35 and a 200 day simple moving average of $113.85.

Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 31st. The closed-end fund reported $4.32 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.08 by $0.24. The firm had revenue of $146.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $128.43 million. Virtus Investment Partners had a net margin of 16.98% and a return on equity of 23.36%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $3.06 EPS. Analysts forecast that Virtus Investment Partners will post 16.9 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.67 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 30th. This represents a $2.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.97%. Virtus Investment Partners’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.11%.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on VRTS shares. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Virtus Investment Partners from $122.00 to $132.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, February 3rd. Barclays upgraded Virtus Investment Partners from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $128.00 to $145.00 in a report on Monday, February 3rd. BidaskClub raised Virtus Investment Partners from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 7th. ValuEngine cut Virtus Investment Partners from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, November 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $127.25.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional clients. It launches separate client focused equity and fixed income portfolios. The firm launches equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds for its clients.

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