Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (ASCMA) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCMA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ascent Capital Group, Inc. is a holding company and its assets primarily consist of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Monitronics International, Inc. The Company provides security alarm monitoring and related services to residential and business subscribers throughout the United States and parts of Canada. Monitronics monitors signals arising from burglaries, fires and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises. Ascent Capital Group, Inc., formerly known as Ascent Media Corporation, is based in Englewood, Colorado. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine raised Ascent Capital Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Imperial Capital downgraded Ascent Capital Group from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $17.00 to $13.50 in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $14.00 price target on Ascent Capital Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 9th. The industrial products company reported ($3.58) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($1.90) by ($1.68). The business had revenue of $140.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $142.68 million. Ascent Capital Group had a negative return on equity of 46.93% and a negative net margin of 19.15%.

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In other news, major shareholder Okumus Fund Management Ltd. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.11, for a total transaction of $34,220.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Opportunistic Value Fun Okumus sold 150,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.00, for a total transaction of $2,550,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 161,100 shares of company stock worth $2,727,103 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 8.65% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.3% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 914,700 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $14,050,000 after buying an additional 11,500 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 3.1% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 910,391 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $13,984,000 after buying an additional 27,162 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 2.2% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 447,733 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $6,326,000 after buying an additional 9,468 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 3.0% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 228,283 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,504,000 after buying an additional 6,682 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 17.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 133,414 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $2,049,000 after buying an additional 19,918 shares during the last quarter. 82.23% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ascent Capital Group

Ascent Capital Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc (MONI) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). The Company’s segments include MONI, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The MONI segment is primarily engaged in the business of providing security alarm monitoring services: monitoring signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises, as well as providing customer service and technical support.

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