Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JCS) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 15th, there was short interest totalling 186,600 shares, a growth of 79.8% from the December 31st total of 103,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 161,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.2 days. Approximately 2.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other Communications Systems news, VP Scott Fluegge sold 5,489 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $6.27, for a total transaction of $34,416.03. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 9,664 shares of company stock valued at $59,174 over the last three months. Insiders own 21.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in JCS. Morgan Stanley bought a new stake in shares of Communications Systems during the 2nd quarter valued at about $48,000. Gabelli Funds LLC increased its position in shares of Communications Systems by 3.7% in the third quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 321,500 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $1,469,000 after purchasing an additional 11,500 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Communications Systems by 1.5% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 513,711 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $1,546,000 after purchasing an additional 7,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gamco Investors INC. ET AL increased its position in shares of Communications Systems by 25.3% in the third quarter. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL now owns 663,568 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $3,033,000 after purchasing an additional 134,043 shares during the last quarter. 28.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

JCS stock traded up $0.02 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $6.05. 52,973 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 79,866. The firm has a market capitalization of $56.14 million, a PE ratio of 13.75 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $6.90 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $5.37. Communications Systems has a 52 week low of $2.30 and a 52 week high of $9.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01, a quick ratio of 3.19 and a current ratio of 4.33.

Communications Systems (NASDAQ:JCS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The communications equipment provider reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.12. Communications Systems had a return on equity of 10.00% and a net margin of 5.80%. The firm had revenue of $18.22 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.10 million. As a group, analysts predict that Communications Systems will post 0.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th were given a dividend of $0.02 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.32%. Communications Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -11.27%.

Several equities research analysts have commented on JCS shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Communications Systems from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 4th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Communications Systems from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 28th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Communications Systems from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, December 27th. Finally, Northland Securities initiated coverage on shares of Communications Systems in a research report on Monday, November 25th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $8.00 price target on the stock.

About Communications Systems

Communications Systems, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells connectivity infrastructure products for broadband and voice communications in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and internationally. The company's Transition Networks segment designs, assembles, and markets media converters, NIDs, network interface cards, Ethernet switches, small form factor pluggable modules, and other connectivity products under the Transition Networks brand name.

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