United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $41.00 price objective on the Wireless communications provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.75% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “U.S. Cellular’s top priority involves subscriber additions and churn management. The company has taken a number of strategic moves like introduction of a new billing system, continuous rollout of 4G LTE, enhancement of LTE handsets, completion of various spectrum transactions and monetization of non-strategic assets, to achieve its target. U.S. Cellular is optimistic about the growing demand for smartphones, which enjoy significant market penetration, supporting growth in data revenues. However, we remain concerned about the company’s operation in an intensely competitive and consolidated wireless market. Further, costs associated with network integration and construction of cell sites, aggressive pricing by larger rivals and fall in service revenues act as major dampeners. Over the past three months, the stock price declined 4.3% as against the industry's gain of 4.1%.”

Separately, BidaskClub raised shares of United States Cellular Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.33.

United States Cellular Corporation (USM) traded down 1.52% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $37.02. 117,390 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $36.77 and a 200-day moving average of $38.04. United States Cellular Corporation has a 12-month low of $33.30 and a 12-month high of $46.01. The stock has a market cap of $3.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 64.72 and a beta of 0.81.

United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.14 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $963.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $949.43 million. United States Cellular Corporation had a net margin of 1.26% and a return on equity of 1.12%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.32 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that United States Cellular Corporation will post $0.31 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, EVP Steven T. Campbell sold 18,292 shares of United States Cellular Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.95, for a total transaction of $730,765.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of USM. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of United States Cellular Corporation by 15.0% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,073,994 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $41,156,000 after purchasing an additional 140,120 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of United States Cellular Corporation by 6.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,746,129 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $65,183,000 after purchasing an additional 104,640 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of United States Cellular Corporation by 377.6% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 128,172 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $4,784,000 after purchasing an additional 101,337 shares during the period. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL raised its stake in shares of United States Cellular Corporation by 3.2% during the second quarter. Gamco Investors INC. ET AL now owns 3,018,657 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $115,675,000 after purchasing an additional 93,187 shares during the period. Finally, Gabelli Funds LLC raised its stake in shares of United States Cellular Corporation by 6.4% during the second quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 1,304,946 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $50,006,000 after purchasing an additional 78,846 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 14.83% of the company’s stock.

About United States Cellular Corporation

United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular) is a provider of wireless telecommunication services. The Company’s wireless operating markets are in the United States. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers from a range of demographic segments. The Company focuses on retail consumers, government and small-to-mid-size business customers in industries, such as construction, retail, professional services and real estate.

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