Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) was the target of a large increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,892,777 shares, an increase of 30.7% from the July 31st total of 6,039,836 shares. Currently, 4.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 3,676,583 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.1 days.

Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ UNIT) opened at 19.69 on Tuesday. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. has a one year low of $18.14 and a one year high of $32.73. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $23.05 and a 200-day moving average price of $25.39. The firm’s market capitalization is $3.45 billion.

Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $213.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $214.09 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. will post ($0.19) EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 12.19%. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently -750.00%.

In other news, insider Kenny Gunderman acquired 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $19.48 per share, with a total value of $48,700.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 266,553 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,192,452.44. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Daniel L. Heard acquired 5,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $18.54 per share, for a total transaction of $100,116.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the executive vice president now owns 40,793 shares in the company, valued at $756,302.22. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders purchased 15,700 shares of company stock worth $297,116. 0.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Texas Permanent School Fund acquired a new stake in Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $2,624,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $20,359,000. Retirement Systems of Alabama acquired a new stake in Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $8,308,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new stake in Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $10,918,000. Finally, Wildcat Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $4,214,000. 68.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of research analysts have commented on UNIT shares. ValuEngine lowered Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a report on Monday, May 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $33.00 price objective on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a report on Friday. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a report on Monday, August 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $29.44.

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About Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc.

Uniti Group Inc, formerly Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc, is an internally managed real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition and construction of infrastructure in the communications industry. The Company focuses on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers.

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