Shares of Virtu Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIRT) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the seven brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have issued a hold recommendation and one has issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $15.50.

VIRT has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup Inc. cut Virtu Financial from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $17.00 to $16.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Virtu Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. TheStreet upgraded Virtu Financial from a “d-” rating to a “c-” rating in a research report on Friday, May 19th. BidaskClub lowered Virtu Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Virtu Financial in a research report on Thursday.

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Shares of Virtu Financial (VIRT) opened at 16.80 on Friday. Virtu Financial has a one year low of $12.35 and a one year high of $19.07. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $16.81 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.80. The company has a market capitalization of $685.68 million, a P/E ratio of 36.52 and a beta of 0.39.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The financial services provider reported $0.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.10. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 16.54% and a net margin of 3.42%. The company had revenue of $77.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $82.23 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.24 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 24.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Virtu Financial will post $0.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.71%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. Virtu Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 188.24%.

In other news, major shareholder Holdings (Private) Ltd Temasek acquired 6,346,155 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $15.60 per share, for a total transaction of $99,000,018.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder North Island Ventures, Llc acquired 338,124 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $15.44 per share, with a total value of $5,220,634.56. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 69.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Quantbot Technologies LP increased its position in shares of Virtu Financial by 1,479.0% in the first quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 6,316 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 5,916 shares during the period. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Virtu Financial during the first quarter worth $109,000. First Bank & Trust increased its stake in Virtu Financial by 28.4% in the first quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 8,967 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 1,983 shares during the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. bought a new stake in Virtu Financial during the second quarter worth $194,000. Finally, Eagle Ridge Investment Management bought a new stake in Virtu Financial during the first quarter worth $250,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.88% of the company’s stock.

About Virtu Financial

Virtu Financial, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the financial markets across the world. It is engaged in buying or selling a range of securities and other financial instruments and earning small bid/ask spreads across various transactions.

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