United States Cellular (USM) Shares Up 6.1%

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United States Cellular Corp (NYSE:USM) shares shot up 6.1% during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $50.07 and last traded at $49.79. 685,682 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 224% from the average session volume of 211,559 shares. The stock had previously closed at $46.92.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on USM. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United States Cellular from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. B. Riley set a $50.00 target price on shares of United States Cellular and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.80.

The company has a market capitalization of $4.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 38.99 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.42 and a current ratio of 2.62.

United States Cellular (NYSE:USM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 22nd. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $1.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.05 billion. United States Cellular had a net margin of 3.81% and a return on equity of 3.41%. United States Cellular’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.05 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that United States Cellular Corp will post 1.2 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP Deirdre Drake sold 6,530 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.59, for a total transaction of $304,232.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Kenneth R. Meyers sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.76, for a total transaction of $1,671,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 89,174 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,258,950.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 44,939 shares of company stock valued at $2,137,075. 1.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 1,654,627 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $74,094,000 after acquiring an additional 48,636 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association acquired a new stake in shares of United States Cellular in the 3rd quarter worth $215,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 92.2% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 45,046 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $2,018,000 after acquiring an additional 21,613 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P acquired a new stake in shares of United States Cellular in the 4th quarter worth $2,910,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of United States Cellular by 8.5% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,144,184 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $51,237,000 after acquiring an additional 89,651 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 16.79% of the company’s stock.

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United States Cellular Company Profile (NYSE:USM)

United States Cellular Corporation provides wireless telecommunications services in the United States. The company offers postpaid and prepaid service plans with voice, messaging, and data usage option services; and smartphone messaging, data, and Internet services, which allow the customer to access the Web and social network sites, e-mail, text, picture, and video messaging, as well as to utilize GPS navigation, and browse and download various applications.

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