Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $13.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “BROOKE GROUP LTD. is principally engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and the sale of information processing systems. It also has investments in a number of additional companies engaged in a diverse group of businesses. “

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Vector Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 28th. Barclays began coverage on shares of Vector Group in a research note on Monday, October 5th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $11.00 price objective on the stock.

Shares of Vector Group stock opened at $11.05 on Thursday. Vector Group has a 12-month low of $7.92 and a 12-month high of $14.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.31 and a beta of 0.97. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $10.38 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $10.28.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 4th. The company reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.06. Vector Group had a net margin of 3.75% and a negative return on equity of 18.15%. The business had revenue of $547.83 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $432.40 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.23 EPS. Vector Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Vector Group will post 0.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Richard Lampen purchased 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 22nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $9.45 per share, for a total transaction of $47,250.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the executive vice president now directly owns 426,486 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,030,292.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Bennett S. Lebow sold 1,000,000 shares of Vector Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.52, for a total transaction of $11,520,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 2,357,278 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,155,842.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders bought 70,000 shares of company stock worth $701,750 and sold 1,875,000 shares worth $20,164,750. Company insiders own 11.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VGR. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Vector Group by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,386,191 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,726,000 after purchasing an additional 525,731 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new stake in Vector Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $4,049,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Vector Group by 1.6% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,886,926 shares of the company’s stock worth $183,015,000 after buying an additional 300,369 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc grew its position in shares of Vector Group by 30.2% during the second quarter. Man Group plc now owns 1,163,521 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,705,000 after buying an additional 270,044 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Vector Group by 27.2% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 1,191,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,985,000 after buying an additional 254,633 shares in the last quarter. 60.66% of the stock is currently owned by 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 100 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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