Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 20,355,700 shares, a growth of 65.6% from the July 31st total of 12,288,900 shares. Approximately 18.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,890,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 10.8 days.

Shares of VGR traded up $0.08 on Friday, hitting $13.60. 30,961 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,210,769. The company has a market capitalization of $1.82 billion, a PE ratio of 23.39 and a beta of 0.69. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $11.70 and a 200 day simple moving average of $10.55. Vector Group has a one year low of $8.62 and a one year high of $16.11.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.19. Vector Group had a net margin of 4.55% and a negative return on equity of 19.73%. The company had revenue of $538.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $494.50 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.19 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Vector Group will post 0.57 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be given a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 11.76%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. Vector Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 275.86%.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on VGR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Vector Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 13th. ValuEngine raised shares of Vector Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Vector Group by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,815,959 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,455,000 after purchasing an additional 415,568 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. grew its position in Vector Group by 27.8% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 3,899,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,018,000 after purchasing an additional 849,163 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Vector Group by 5.0% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,657,747 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,663,000 after purchasing an additional 174,047 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Vector Group by 5.2% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,097,087 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,135,000 after purchasing an additional 151,917 shares during the period. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC bought a new stake in Vector Group in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $19,028,000. 51.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Vector Group

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Tobacco and Real Estate. The company produces cigarettes in 109 combinations under the Pyramid, EAGLE 20's, Grand Prix, Liggett Select, Eve, and USA brand names, as well as various partner and private label brands.

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