Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) has been given an average broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation.

Zacks has also assigned Vector Group an industry rank of 167 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

VGR has been the topic of several analyst reports. ValuEngine downgraded Vector Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Vector Group from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $13.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, November 8th.

Shares of NYSE VGR traded up $0.19 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $12.79. 2,474,377 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,190,801. Vector Group has a 52 week low of $8.62 and a 52 week high of $14.42. The company has a market cap of $1.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.91 and a beta of 0.75. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $12.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $11.31.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The company reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.10. Vector Group had a negative return on equity of 21.00% and a net margin of 5.83%. The business had revenue of $504.79 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $526.50 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.15 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Vector Group will post 0.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 30th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 12.51%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 16th. Vector Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 290.91%.

In other Vector Group news, Director Bennett S. Lebow sold 250,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.11, for a total value of $3,277,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Phillip Md Et Al Frost sold 5,750,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.50, for a total value of $71,875,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 6,453,272 shares of company stock valued at $80,958,914. 11.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VGR. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Vector Group in the third quarter worth about $466,000. ETF Managers Group LLC purchased a new stake in Vector Group in the second quarter worth about $19,028,000. State Street Corp increased its position in Vector Group by 53.4% in the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,199,651 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,108,000 after buying an additional 1,113,249 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. increased its position in Vector Group by 27.8% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 3,899,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,018,000 after buying an additional 849,163 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Vector Group in the second quarter worth about $4,181,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.02% of the company’s stock.

About Vector Group

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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