South Dakota Investment Council lessened its stake in Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) by 28.7% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 22,100 shares of the business services provider’s stock after selling 8,900 shares during the quarter. South Dakota Investment Council’s holdings in Alliance Data Systems were worth $3,097,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Financial Advisors Network Inc. boosted its position in Alliance Data Systems by 43.2% during the first quarter. Financial Advisors Network Inc. now owns 6,552 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $901,000 after purchasing an additional 1,977 shares during the period. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new position in Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth $5,871,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 11.0% in the 1st quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 1,717 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $300,000 after purchasing an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. Emory University grew its stake in Alliance Data Systems by 17.2% during the first quarter. Emory University now owns 11,142 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,950,000 after purchasing an additional 1,633 shares during the period. Finally, Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management acquired a new stake in Alliance Data Systems in the second quarter worth $1,408,000. 89.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have commented on ADS. Deutsche Bank raised shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 16th. William Blair reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Monday, July 15th. UBS Group raised shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $160.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Tuesday, September 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $152.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $173.00 target price on shares of Alliance Data Systems and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $188.50.

NYSE:ADS traded up $1.80 on Wednesday, reaching $134.08. 450,892 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,604,116. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $141.38 and a 200-day simple moving average of $152.37. Alliance Data Systems Co. has a 12 month low of $118.40 and a 12 month high of $250.27. The firm has a market cap of $6.59 billion, a PE ratio of 6.22, a P/E/G ratio of 0.47 and a beta of 1.70. The company has a quick ratio of 2.64, a current ratio of 2.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.16.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The business services provider reported $3.66 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.08 by ($0.42). The business had revenue of $1.35 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.36 billion. Alliance Data Systems had a return on equity of 46.72% and a net margin of 13.01%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $5.01 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Alliance Data Systems Co. will post 18.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 4th will be paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 3rd. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.88%. Alliance Data Systems’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.69%.

Alliance Data Systems announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, July 9th that permits the company to repurchase $1.10 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to repurchase up to 14.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CFO Timothy P. King sold 2,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.30, for a total transaction of $406,380.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Alliance Data Systems Profile

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS)

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