ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCMA) from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ascent Capital Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Imperial Capital downgraded Ascent Capital Group from an outperform rating to an in-line rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $17.00 to $13.50 in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $14.00 price objective on Ascent Capital Group and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ ASCMA) traded up 2.01% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $10.13. The company had a trading volume of 50,502 shares. The company’s market capitalization is $123.26 million. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $14.00 and its 200-day moving average price is $14.39. Ascent Capital Group has a 12 month low of $8.87 and a 12 month high of $24.75.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The industrial products company reported ($3.58) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($1.90) by $1.68. Ascent Capital Group had a negative net margin of 19.15% and a negative return on equity of 46.93%. The firm had revenue of $140.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $142.68 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ascent Capital Group will post ($9.68) earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, major shareholder Opportunistic Value Fun Okumus sold 150,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.00, for a total transaction of $2,550,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Okumus Fund Management Ltd. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.11, for a total value of $34,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 158,600 shares of company stock valued at $2,697,278. Company insiders own 8.65% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 914,700 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $14,050,000 after buying an additional 11,500 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 910,391 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $13,984,000 after buying an additional 27,162 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 2.2% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 447,733 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $6,326,000 after buying an additional 9,468 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 228,283 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,504,000 after buying an additional 6,682 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 17.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 133,414 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,049,000 after buying an additional 19,918 shares in the last quarter. 82.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ascent Capital Group

Ascent Capital Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc (MONI) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). The Company’s segments include MONI, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The MONI segment is primarily engaged in the business of providing security alarm monitoring services: monitoring signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises, as well as providing customer service and technical support.

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