Ascent Capital Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCMA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday.

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. “

Separately, Imperial Capital upgraded Ascent Capital Group from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $21.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 9th.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) opened at 19.89 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $21.55 and its 200 day moving average price is $19.26. Ascent Capital Group has a 1-year low of $7.77 and a 1-year high of $26.16. The stock’s market capitalization is $240.69 million.

In other news, VP William E. Niles sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.36, for a total value of $35,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 61,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,446,170.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 8.65% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 32.7% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 630,928 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,710,000 after buying an additional 155,410 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group during the second quarter worth about $801,000. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 6.1% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 18,198 shares of the company’s stock worth $280,000 after buying an additional 1,043 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group during the second quarter worth about $278,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 15.2% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 104,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,607,000 after buying an additional 13,800 shares in the last quarter. 84.63% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ascent Capital Group

Ascent Capital Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include Monitronics, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc (Monitronics) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). Monitronics provides a range of residential security services, including hands-free two-way interactive voice communication with the monitoring center, cellular options, and an interactive service option, which allows the customer to control their security system remotely using a computer or smart phone.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:ASCMA

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