Short Interest in Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) Rises By 6.9%

Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 430,500 shares, a growth of 6.9% from the December 15th total of 402,900 shares. Currently, 6.6% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 57,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.5 days.

VRTS has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Virtus Investment Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, November 3rd. BidaskClub raised shares of Virtus Investment Partners from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 24th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Virtus Investment Partners from $115.00 to $117.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, December 12th. ValuEngine downgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. Finally, Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $114.00 price objective on shares of Virtus Investment Partners in a report on Wednesday, December 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $115.75.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners by 1.2% in the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 10,371 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,147,000 after buying an additional 124 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Virtus Investment Partners in the third quarter worth approximately $34,000. 6 Meridian increased its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 2,675 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $326,000 after buying an additional 314 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners by 327.5% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 731 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $78,000 after buying an additional 560 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners by 3.9% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 15,619 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $1,677,000 after buying an additional 587 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.92% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:VRTS opened at $126.99 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $121.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $110.64. Virtus Investment Partners has a 52 week low of $79.24 and a 52 week high of $130.34. The company has a market capitalization of $873.44 million, a P/E ratio of 10.36, a P/E/G ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.62.

Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 25th. The closed-end fund reported $4.03 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.69 by $0.34. Virtus Investment Partners had a return on equity of 21.89% and a net margin of 13.49%. The firm had revenue of $146.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $146.51 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $3.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Virtus Investment Partners will post 14.44 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, February 15th. Investors of record on Friday, January 31st will be issued a $0.67 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 30th. This represents a $2.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. Virtus Investment Partners’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.86%.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional clients. It launches separate client focused equity and fixed income portfolios. The firm launches equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds for its clients.

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