Short Interest in Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) Rises By 65.6%

Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 20,355,700 shares, an increase of 65.6% from the July 31st total of 12,288,900 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,890,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 10.8 days. Currently, 18.9% of the company’s shares are short sold.

NYSE:VGR traded up $0.48 on Wednesday, reaching $13.44. 2,051,360 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,412,842. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.17 and a beta of 0.69. The business has a fifty day moving average of $11.70 and a 200-day moving average of $10.55. Vector Group has a 52-week low of $8.62 and a 52-week high of $16.13.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.19. Vector Group had a net margin of 4.55% and a negative return on equity of 19.73%. The business had revenue of $538.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $494.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.19 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Vector Group will post 0.57 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 11.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. Vector Group’s payout ratio is currently 275.86%.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Vector Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, July 13th. ValuEngine raised Vector Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VGR. Weiss Asset Management LP purchased a new position in Vector Group in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $158,000. Wakefield Asset Management LLLP purchased a new position in Vector Group in the first quarter valued at $756,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Vector Group by 8.9% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 36,922 shares of the company’s stock valued at $361,000 after purchasing an additional 3,015 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in Vector Group by 24.9% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 478,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,165,000 after purchasing an additional 95,456 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AE Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Vector Group during the 2nd quarter worth $99,000. 51.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Vector Group Company Profile

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Tobacco and Real Estate. The company produces cigarettes in 109 combinations under the Pyramid, EAGLE 20's, Grand Prix, Liggett Select, Eve, and USA brand names, as well as various partner and private label brands.

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