Consolidated Communications (CNSL) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. offers a wide range of telecommunications services including local and long distance telephone, Digital Phone, High-Speed Internet access and Digital TV to individuals and businesses in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The company also offers telephone directory publishing services, wholesale transport services, billing and collection services, inside wiring services, and maintenance services. Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois. “

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on CNSL. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Consolidated Communications from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Consolidated Communications from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $14.50.

Shares of Consolidated Communications stock opened at $12.88 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $905.62 million, a PE ratio of 49.54 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.49. Consolidated Communications has a 1 year low of $10.31 and a 1 year high of $20.72.

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.10) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $350.22 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $351.29 million. Consolidated Communications had a net margin of 3.47% and a negative return on equity of 3.15%. sell-side analysts forecast that Consolidated Communications will post -0.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.387 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 12th. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a yield of 12.02%. Consolidated Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 596.15%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its stake in Consolidated Communications by 85.5% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 10,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $126,000 after acquiring an additional 4,700 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Consolidated Communications by 12.7% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 44,628 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $553,000 after acquiring an additional 5,044 shares during the period. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its stake in Consolidated Communications by 17.9% during the first quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 37,210 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $408,000 after acquiring an additional 5,654 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its stake in Consolidated Communications by 23.8% during the first quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 35,388 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $388,000 after acquiring an additional 6,800 shares during the period. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its stake in Consolidated Communications by 36.5% during the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 25,453 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $315,000 after acquiring an additional 6,800 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.34% of the company’s stock.

About Consolidated Communications

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides various integrated communications services to business and residential customers in the United States. It offers a range of communication services and products that include local and long-distance, high-speed broadband Internet access, video, voice over Internet protocol, private line, custom calling features, security, cloud, data center, managed and IT, and directory publishing services, as well as engages in equipment sales activities.

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