Virtu Financial (VIRT) Shares Gap Up on Earnings Beat

Shares of Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) gapped up before the market opened on Wednesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $24.03, but opened at $24.64. Virtu Financial shares last traded at $25.59, with a volume of 2347205 shares.

The financial services provider reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.03. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 19.62% and a net margin of 11.30%. The company had revenue of $177.92 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $171.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.08 EPS. Virtu Financial’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.84%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 29th. Virtu Financial’s payout ratio is presently 168.42%.

VIRT has been the topic of several recent research reports. Compass Point initiated coverage on Virtu Financial in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $23.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub raised Virtu Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. Citigroup reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Virtu Financial in a report on Friday, October 5th. ValuEngine raised Virtu Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Virtu Financial in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $22.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.09.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Crawford Lake Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,338,000. EJF Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at $266,000. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,181,000. Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in Virtu Financial by 88.4% in the 2nd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 30,351 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $775,000 after buying an additional 14,245 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Virtu Financial by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,268,190 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $60,220,000 after buying an additional 167,624 shares in the last quarter. 53.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70. The stock has a market cap of $4.69 billion, a PE ratio of 43.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.50 and a beta of -0.95.

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Virtu Financial Company Profile (NASDAQ:VIRT)

Virtu Financial, Inc engages in the business of buying and selling of securities and other financial instruments. It offers market making and trading solutions. The company was founded by Vincent Viola in 2008 and is headquartered in New York, NY.

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