United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE:USM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “We expect U.S.Cellular to accelerate subscriber growth and arrest churn by strategic moves such as introduction of a new billing system, continuous rollout of 4G LTE, enhancement of LTE handsets, completion of various spectrum transactions and monetization of non-strategic assets. The company is also striving to gain customers from rivals through online promotional plans and offering discounts. Moreover, the launch of its new Shared Connect plans which offers more data, larger allotments and new tools to track data usage coupled with unlimited offerings in relation to calling and texting should help it sustain in the wireless market. Nevertheless, a highly competitive wireless market, high costs associated with network integration and construction of cell sites, aggressive pricing by larger rivals and ongoing consolidation in the wireless industry through mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures are the near-term risks.”

Shares of United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE:USM) opened at 34.27 on Monday. United States Cellular Corp. has a 12 month low of $32.72 and a 12 month high of $45.87. The company has a market cap of $2.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 56.74 and a beta of 0.77. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $35.71 and a 200-day moving average of $37.88.

United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE:USM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 4th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by $0.07. The business earned $1.01 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.01 billion. United States Cellular Corp. had a net margin of 1.30% and a return on equity of 1.42%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that United States Cellular Corp. will post $0.47 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. DIAM Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in United States Cellular Corp. during the second quarter worth $125,000. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. increased its stake in United States Cellular Corp. by 5.6% in the first quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 5,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $260,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in United States Cellular Corp. by 270.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,000 after buying an additional 4,410 shares in the last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in United States Cellular Corp. during the second quarter worth $254,000. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. purchased a new stake in United States Cellular Corp. during the second quarter worth $265,000. 14.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About United States Cellular Corp.

United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular) is a provider of wireless telecommunication services. The Company operates all of its wireless operating markets are in the United States. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers from a range of demographic segments. The Company focuses on retail consumers, government and small-to-mid-size business customers in vertical industries, such as construction, retail, professional services and real estate.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:USM

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