Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) was the target of a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,785,544 shares, a growth of 24.0% from the August 15th total of 7,892,777 shares. Approximately 6.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,875,165 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.2 days.

Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ UNIT) opened at 18.40 on Monday. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. has a 52 week low of $18.14 and a 52 week high of $32.73. The firm’s market cap is $3.23 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average of $18.61 and a 200 day moving average of $23.18.

Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $213.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $214.09 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. will post ($0.20) earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 13.04%. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently -750.00%.

UNIT has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective (down from $34.00) on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $33.00 price objective on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Deutsche Bank AG initiated coverage on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $29.44.

In other Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. news, EVP Daniel L. Heard acquired 5,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $18.54 per share, for a total transaction of $100,116.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 40,793 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $756,302.22. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Kenny Gunderman acquired 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $19.48 per share, for a total transaction of $48,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 266,553 shares in the company, valued at $5,192,452.44. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 15,700 shares of company stock worth $297,116 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $339,519,000. BlackRock Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $298,032,000. State Street Corp acquired a new position in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $91,615,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $42,809,000. Finally, FMR LLC acquired a new position in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $32,036,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.21% of the company’s stock.

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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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