Windstream Holdings Inc (NYSE:WIN) fell 7% during trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $1.98 and last traded at $2.00. 6,601,794 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 72% from the average session volume of 3,845,590 shares. The stock had previously closed at $2.15.

A number of brokerages have commented on WIN. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $5.00 price objective (down previously from $9.00) on shares of Windstream Holdings in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised shares of Windstream Holdings from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $5.25 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Windstream Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Citigroup Inc. decreased their price objective on shares of Windstream Holdings from $5.25 to $4.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation lowered shares of Windstream Holdings from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $8.00 to $3.00 in a report on Friday, August 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $4.65.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $2.52 and its 200-day moving average price is $4.50. The firm’s market cap is $381.66 million.

Windstream Holdings (NYSE:WIN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported ($0.37) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.08. The business had revenue of $1.49 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.50 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.01 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Windstream Holdings Inc will post ($2.06) earnings per share for the current year.

Windstream Holdings announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, August 3rd that permits the company to buyback $90.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 19.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Alan L. Wells purchased 68,000 shares of Windstream Holdings stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $2.10 per share, for a total transaction of $142,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 157,971 shares in the company, valued at approximately $331,739.10. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Anthony W. Thomas purchased 25,381 shares of Windstream Holdings stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 17th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $1.97 per share, for a total transaction of $50,000.57. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 637,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,254,901.82. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have bought 95,381 shares of company stock worth $196,901.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WIN. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Windstream Holdings by 61,577.1% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,160,595 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,426,000 after purchasing an additional 19,129,529 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Windstream Holdings by 90.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,720,851 shares of the company’s stock worth $161,979,000 after purchasing an additional 14,107,517 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Windstream Holdings by 137.1% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 10,854,236 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,156,000 after purchasing an additional 6,276,636 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Windstream Holdings by 278.4% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,373,705 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,286,000 after purchasing an additional 3,953,429 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UBS Oconnor LLC bought a new stake in shares of Windstream Holdings during the first quarter worth about $15,887,000.

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Windstream Holdings Company Profile

Windstream Holdings, Inc provides network communications and technology solutions in the United States. Its ILEC Consumer and Small Business segment offers consumer services, including high-speed Internet access; Internet security services; online backup services; basic local telephone services and long-distance services, as well as call waiting, caller identification, call forwarding, and other services; and video services, as well as owns and operates cable television franchises, and sells and leases equipment to support its consumer high-speed Internet and voice services.

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