The GEO Group Inc (NYSE:GEO) shares fell 6.6% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $18.95 and last traded at $18.97, 1,905,161 shares changed hands during mid-day trading. An increase of 175% from the average session volume of 693,370 shares. The stock had previously closed at $20.30.

Several research firms recently issued reports on GEO. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Gerdau from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. TheStreet cut shares of Viavi Solutions from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Monday, June 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Zumiez from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The GEO Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $25.00.

The stock’s fifty day moving average is $21.89. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.49. The firm has a market cap of $2.46 billion, a PE ratio of 7.68, a PEG ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.15.

The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.13). The GEO Group had a net margin of 6.34% and a return on equity of 14.82%. The business had revenue of $610.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $601.83 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.57 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that The GEO Group Inc will post 2.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 26th. Investors of record on Friday, July 19th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 18th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 10.12%. The GEO Group’s payout ratio is 77.73%.

In related news, Director Richard H. Glanton sold 2,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.39, for a total value of $51,336.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its holdings in The GEO Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 157,651 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,312,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of The GEO Group by 1.1% during the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 48,737 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $936,000 after purchasing an additional 523 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of The GEO Group by 4.7% during the fourth quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 16,783 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $331,000 after purchasing an additional 749 shares during the period. Quantamental Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of The GEO Group by 12.6% during the first quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC now owns 10,764 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $207,000 after purchasing an additional 1,202 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of The GEO Group by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 57,658 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,137,000 after purchasing an additional 1,358 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.80% of the company’s stock.

About The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO)

The GEO Group, Inc (NYSE: GEO) is the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe. GEO is the world's leading provider of diversified correctional, detention, community reentry, and electronic monitoring services to government agencies worldwide with operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

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