Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA) was the target of a large increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,256,100 shares, an increase of 52.1% from the July 31st total of 4,113,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,820,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.4 days. Approximately 3.1% of the company’s stock are sold short.

LBTYA has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. New Street Research cut Liberty Global from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. Benchmark initiated coverage on Liberty Global in a research note on Thursday, July 25th. They set a “buy” rating and a $34.00 target price on the stock. Societe Generale set a $36.00 target price on Liberty Global and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Liberty Global from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 5th. Finally, Pivotal Research reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 target price on shares of Liberty Global in a research note on Sunday, June 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.42.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LBTYA. Baupost Group LLC MA increased its holdings in Liberty Global by 50.1% in the 2nd quarter. Baupost Group LLC MA now owns 7,440,705 shares of the company’s stock worth $200,825,000 after acquiring an additional 2,483,500 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Liberty Global in the 2nd quarter worth about $9,659,000. CQS Cayman LP purchased a new stake in Liberty Global in the 2nd quarter worth about $7,921,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in Liberty Global by 20.2% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,227,987 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,143,000 after acquiring an additional 206,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in Liberty Global by 289.8% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 264,499 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,139,000 after acquiring an additional 196,650 shares during the last quarter. 23.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ LBTYA traded up $0.49 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $28.19. 782,286 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,918,756. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -14.31 and a beta of 1.48. Liberty Global has a 52 week low of $19.88 and a 52 week high of $29.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.15, a current ratio of 0.39 and a quick ratio of 0.39. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $26.58 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $26.44.

Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The company reported ($0.50) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.89). The business had revenue of $2.85 billion for the quarter. Liberty Global had a negative return on equity of 26.88% and a net margin of 9.11%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Liberty Global will post -1.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Liberty Global Company Profile

Liberty Global plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides video, broadband Internet, fixed-line telephony, mobile, and other communications services to residential customers and businesses in Europe. It offers video services, including digital video programming and audio services starting with a basic video service, video-on-demand, electronic programming guide, various premium channel packages, digital video recorders, various mobile applications, and set-top boxes.

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