VEREIT Inc. (NYSE:VER) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

VEREIT Inc. (NYSE:VER) saw a large growth in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 29,157,497 shares, a growth of 16.4% from the June 15th total of 25,046,319 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 11,285,265 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.6 days. Currently, 3.0% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In other news, insider Hugh R. Frater acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 5th. The shares were bought at an average price of $7.81 per share, with a total value of $78,100.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 37,486 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $292,765.66. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Paul H. Mcdowell acquired 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $7.51 per share, for a total transaction of $52,570.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 289,401 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,173,401.51. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 91,725 shares of company stock worth $706,509 in the last three months. 0.09% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of VER. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC increased its stake in shares of VEREIT by 1.2% in the first quarter. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC now owns 14,447 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 167 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning increased its stake in shares of VEREIT by 9.0% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 13,009 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 1,069 shares in the last quarter. Foundry Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of VEREIT by 26.1% in the first quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 958,185 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,135,000 after buying an additional 198,250 shares in the last quarter. Pensionfund Sabic increased its stake in shares of VEREIT by 7.0% in the first quarter. Pensionfund Sabic now owns 153,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,299,000 after buying an additional 10,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of VEREIT by 40.5% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 433,874 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,670,000 after buying an additional 125,018 shares in the last quarter. 85.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts recently commented on the company. BidaskClub raised VEREIT from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday. ValuEngine lowered VEREIT from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Evercore ISI raised VEREIT to an “outperform” rating and set a $9.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised VEREIT from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $10.00 price target on VEREIT and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. VEREIT has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $9.80.

Shares of VEREIT (NYSE VER) opened at 8.43 on Tuesday. VEREIT has a 52 week low of $7.44 and a 52 week high of $11.09. The firm’s market cap is $8.21 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $8.11 and a 200 day moving average price of $8.44.

VEREIT (NYSE:VER) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $348.03 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $297.94 million. VEREIT had a negative return on equity of 0.80% and a negative net margin of 4.77%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.21 earnings per share. Analysts expect that VEREIT will post ($1.70) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th were given a dividend of $0.1375 per share. This represents a $0.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.52%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 28th. VEREIT’s dividend payout ratio is currently -366.67%.

VEREIT announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, May 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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VEREIT Company Profile

VEREIT, Inc is a full-service real estate operating company. The Company operates through two business segments: real estate investment (REI) segment and investment management segment, Cole Capital. As of December 31, 2016, through its REI segment, the Company owned and managed a portfolio of 4,142 retail, restaurant, office and industrial real estate properties with an aggregate of 93.3 million square feet, which are located in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

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