Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Windstream Holdings Inc (NYSE:WIN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “We appreciate Windstream’s focus on improving sales, cost-cutting initiatives, planned pricing initiatives which should rake in profits and check churn. Windstream is enhancing its Cloud Connect solution. Launch of a new multi-featured SD-WAN solution looks good. Windstream’s cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery management solutions, expansion of Kinetic TV services in North Carolina, merger with EarthLink Holdings should rake in profits. Expansion of its metro fibre network business in the newer areas and aim to extend the deployment of G.fast technologies over traditional copper telephone wires bode well. However, over the past three months, the stock price declined 47% compared to the industry's 1.1% gain. Further, Windstream also remains under pressure with losses in the wholesale business, technological changes and its related expenses, highly leveraged balance sheet, diminishing access lines and stringent regulatory measures.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating and set a $2.40 price target (down from $5.00) on shares of Windstream Holdings in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and issued a $2.50 price objective (down from $5.00) on shares of Windstream Holdings in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on shares of Windstream Holdings from $7.00 to $3.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Windstream Holdings from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. cut 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. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $4.08.

Shares of Windstream Holdings (WIN) opened at 1.90 on Monday. Windstream Holdings has a one year low of $1.73 and a one year high of $8.55. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $2.00 and its 200 day moving average price is $3.57. The company’s market cap is $362.57 million.

Windstream Holdings (NYSE:WIN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported ($0.37) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.08. The company had revenue of $1.49 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.50 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.01 earnings per share. Windstream Holdings’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Windstream Holdings will post ($1.96) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, Director Anthony W. Thomas bought 25,381 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 17th. The shares were bought at an average cost 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 in the company, valued at approximately $1,254,901.82. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Alan L. Wells bought 68,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was purchased at an average price 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $331,739.10. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 95,381 shares of company stock worth $196,901.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC raised its holdings in Windstream Holdings by 0.5% in the first quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 22,981 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in Windstream Holdings by 2.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 46,347 shares of the company’s stock worth $180,000 after purchasing an additional 1,257 shares during the period. Menta Capital LLC raised its holdings in Windstream Holdings by 1.3% in the second quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 310,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,204,000 after purchasing an additional 3,916 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in Windstream Holdings by 11.8% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 52,448 shares of the company’s stock worth $204,000 after purchasing an additional 5,536 shares during the period. Finally, Voya Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Windstream Holdings by 8.2% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 88,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $342,000 after purchasing an additional 6,692 shares during the period.

About Windstream Holdings

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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