The GEO Group Inc (NYSE:GEO) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of April. As of April 28th, there was short interest totalling 2,206,321 shares, a growth of 68.2% from the April 13th total of 1,311,789 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 936,283 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.4 days. Approximately 1.8% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Shares of The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) opened at 32.95 on Tuesday. The GEO Group has a one year low of $10.84 and a one year high of $34.32. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $31.94 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.74. The stock has a market cap of $4.02 billion, a PE ratio of 23.65 and a beta of 1.22.

The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $550.61 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $550.79 million. The GEO Group had a return on equity of 14.70% and a net margin of 6.78%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.84 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that The GEO Group will post $1.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 9th will be given a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 5th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.71%. The GEO Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 134.72%.

In other news, SVP J David Donahue sold 3,013 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.51, for a total transaction of $140,134.63. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 12,276 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $570,956.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Norman A. Carlson sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.38, for a total value of $241,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its stake in The GEO Group by 954.9% in the third quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 51,829 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,232,000 after buying an additional 46,916 shares in the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. purchased a new stake in The GEO Group during the third quarter worth approximately $2,146,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in The GEO Group by 50.5% in the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 287,015 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $6,825,000 after buying an additional 96,337 shares in the last quarter. WealthTrust Axiom LLC increased its stake in The GEO Group by 5.5% in the third quarter. WealthTrust Axiom LLC now owns 9,602 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $228,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Willingdon Wealth Management purchased a new stake in The GEO Group during the third quarter worth approximately $1,907,000. Institutional investors own 88.16% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on GEO. Zacks Investment Research cut The GEO Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of The GEO Group in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG began coverage on The GEO Group in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $47.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The GEO Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.00.

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About The GEO Group

The GEO Group, Inc is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in the ownership, leasing and management of correctional, detention and re-entry facilities and the provision of community-based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.

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