Short Interest in Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) Expands By 8.6%

Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) saw a significant increase in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,530,000 shares, an increase of 8.6% from the September 30th total of 12,460,000 shares. Currently, 18.0% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,056,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 12.8 days.

Several equities analysts recently commented on VIRT shares. Compass Point set a $18.00 target price on Virtu Financial and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated an “overweight” rating and set a $23.00 target price on shares of Virtu Financial in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. UBS Group cut Virtu Financial from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $21.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Friday, November 8th. ValuEngine upgraded Virtu Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Virtu Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $19.00 target price for the company in a research report on Sunday, November 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.50.

Shares of VIRT stock opened at $16.69 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $16.58 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $20.14. Virtu Financial has a 12-month low of $15.32 and a 12-month high of $29.17. The firm has a market cap of $3.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.97 and a beta of -0.55.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.21. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 18.75% and a net margin of 2.55%. The firm had revenue of $245.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $241.79 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.22 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 37.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that Virtu Financial will post 0.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.75%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 29th. Virtu Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.98%.

In other Virtu Financial news, CEO Douglas A. Cifu bought 10,000 shares of Virtu Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $18.58 per share, for a total transaction of $185,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 235,000 shares in the company, valued at $4,366,300. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Douglas A. Cifu bought 20,000 shares of Virtu Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 7th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $16.24 per share, with a total value of $324,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 255,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,141,200. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 63.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VIRT. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. lifted its stake in Virtu Financial by 211.7% during the second quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 7,129,625 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $155,285,000 after purchasing an additional 4,842,600 shares during the last quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 40.9% in the 2nd quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 5,767,837 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $125,623,000 after acquiring an additional 1,674,638 shares during the last quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 445.5% in the 2nd quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 939,576 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $20,464,000 after acquiring an additional 767,332 shares during the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 16,077.8% in the 2nd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 672,997 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $14,658,000 after acquiring an additional 668,837 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Van Berkom & Associates Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Virtu Financial by 12.0% in the 2nd quarter. Van Berkom & Associates Inc. now owns 5,383,212 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $117,246,000 after acquiring an additional 578,148 shares during the last quarter. 64.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Virtu Financial

Virtu Financial, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides market making and liquidity services through its proprietary, multi-asset, and multi-currency technology platform to the financial markets worldwide. The company's Market Making segment principally consists of market making in the cash, futures, and options markets across equities, options, fixed income, currencies, and commodities.

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