Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 9,785,544 shares, a growth of 24.0% from the August 15th total of 7,892,777 shares. Approximately 6.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,875,165 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.2 days.

In related news, insider Kenny Gunderman purchased 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The shares were bought at an average price of $19.48 per share, for a total transaction of $48,700.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 266,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,192,452.44. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Daniel L. Heard purchased 5,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $18.54 per share, for a total transaction of $100,116.00. Following the acquisition, the executive vice president now directly owns 40,793 shares in the company, valued at approximately $756,302.22. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 15,700 shares of company stock valued at $297,116 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 45,920 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,154,000 after buying an additional 1,047 shares in the last quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH raised its stake in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. by 86.5% during the 2nd quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 37,949 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $954,000 after buying an additional 17,600 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its stake in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. by 79.6% during the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 43,512 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,094,000 after buying an additional 19,281 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. by 117.1% during the 2nd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 78,800 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,981,000 after buying an additional 42,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. by 12.6% during the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 14,132 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $355,000 after buying an additional 1,585 shares in the last quarter. 68.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

UNIT has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine downgraded Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Deutsche Bank AG assumed coverage on Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $33.00 price target on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a report on Friday, August 25th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $31.00 price target on shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. in a report on Monday, August 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $29.44.

Shares of Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (UNIT) opened at 18.43 on Friday. The stock’s market capitalization is $3.23 billion. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $18.67 and a 200-day moving average price of $24.38. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. has a 52-week low of $18.43 and a 52-week high of $32.73.

Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $213.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $214.09 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.56 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. will post ($0.20) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 13.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -750.00%.

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Communications Sales & Leasing,Inc. Company Profile

Uniti Group Inc, formerly Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc, is an internally managed real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition and construction of infrastructure in the communications industry. The Company focuses on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers.

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