Uniti Group Inc (NASDAQ:UNIT) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 32,170,000 shares, a growth of 12.8% from the December 15th total of 28,510,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,130,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 10.3 days. Approximately 18.4% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of UNIT. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Uniti Group by 32.9% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,726,815 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $206,406,000 after acquiring an additional 5,384,528 shares during the last quarter. Zimmer Partners LP purchased a new stake in Uniti Group during the second quarter valued at about $12,392,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Uniti Group during the second quarter worth about $11,006,000. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Uniti Group by 33.3% during the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,214,739 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $21,041,000 after purchasing an additional 552,805 shares during the period. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Uniti Group by 224.6% during the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 729,157 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $5,662,000 after purchasing an additional 504,498 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 81.65% of the company’s stock.

Uniti Group stock opened at $8.22 on Wednesday. Uniti Group has a 12 month low of $5.24 and a 12 month high of $20.14. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $7.65 and its 200 day simple moving average is $7.83. The company has a market cap of $1.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 3.27, a PEG ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.10.

Uniti Group (NASDAQ:UNIT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The real estate investment trust reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by ($0.54). The firm had revenue of $263.63 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $270.14 million. Uniti Group had a negative return on equity of 2.17% and a net margin of 3.06%. Equities analysts anticipate that Uniti Group will post 2.04 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be given a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 10.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. This is a boost from Uniti Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. Uniti Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.06%.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Uniti Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday. BidaskClub upgraded Uniti Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Uniti Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.96.

About Uniti Group

Uniti, an internally managed real estate investment trust, is engaged in the acquisition and construction of mission critical communications infrastructure, and is a leading provider of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. As of December 31, 2018, Uniti owns 5.5 million fiber strand miles, approximately 928 wireless towers, and other communications real estate throughout the United States and Latin America.

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