Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) Short Interest Up 92.0% in March

Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) saw a significant increase in short interest during the month of March. As of March 13th, there was short interest totalling 3,264,700 shares, an increase of 92.0% from the February 27th total of 1,700,000 shares. Approximately 7.1% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 865,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.8 days.

ADS has been the topic of several analyst reports. SunTrust Banks lowered their price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems from $135.00 to $40.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday. UBS Group lowered their price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems from $143.00 to $140.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, January 31st. Cfra lowered their price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems from $135.00 to $130.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, January 31st. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a report on Monday, December 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $111.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $111.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Alliance Data Systems has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.88.

In other news, SVP Laura Santillan purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 19th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $22.60 per share, with a total value of $67,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the senior vice president now directly owns 29,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $658,270.20. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Sharen J. Turney purchased 1,725 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $30.16 per share, for a total transaction of $52,026.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 14,243 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $429,568.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders purchased 11,355 shares of company stock worth $302,483. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ADS. Stifel Financial Corp increased its position in Alliance Data Systems by 40.6% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 14,803 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,892,000 after purchasing an additional 4,276 shares during the last quarter. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. bought a new stake in Alliance Data Systems in the fourth quarter worth $5,406,000. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its position in Alliance Data Systems by 36.2% in the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 19,926 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,553,000 after purchasing an additional 5,297 shares during the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC increased its position in Alliance Data Systems by 43.8% in the fourth quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 5,032 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $565,000 after purchasing an additional 1,533 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Raging Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Alliance Data Systems in the third quarter worth $12,022,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.15% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Alliance Data Systems stock traded down $0.96 on Thursday, hitting $37.55. 1,702,509 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,272,068. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.17 and a beta of 1.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.87, a quick ratio of 2.01 and a current ratio of 2.03. Alliance Data Systems has a 52 week low of $20.51 and a 52 week high of $182.95. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $76.55 and a 200 day simple moving average of $104.21.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 30th. The business services provider reported $4.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.08 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.49 billion. Alliance Data Systems had a net margin of 5.57% and a return on equity of 42.99%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $7.04 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that Alliance Data Systems will post 20.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 19th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 14th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 13th. Alliance Data Systems’s payout ratio is currently 15.38%.

About Alliance Data Systems

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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