Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCMA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ascent Capital Group, Inc. is a holding company and its assets primarily consist of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Monitronics International, Inc. The Company provides security alarm monitoring and related services to residential and business subscribers throughout the United States and parts of Canada. Monitronics monitors signals arising from burglaries, fires and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises. Ascent Capital Group, Inc., formerly known as Ascent Media Corporation, is based in Englewood, Colorado. “

ASCMA has been the subject of a number of other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $14.00 target price on Ascent Capital Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Imperial Capital downgraded Ascent Capital Group from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $17.00 to $13.50 in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Ascent Capital Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) traded up 0.29% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $13.60. 74,814 shares of the stock traded hands. Ascent Capital Group has a 12 month low of $8.87 and a 12 month high of $23.31. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $11.17 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.60. The firm’s market cap is $165.48 million.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 9th. The industrial products company reported ($3.58) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($1.90) by ($1.68). The firm had revenue of $140.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $142.68 million. Ascent Capital Group had a negative net margin of 19.15% and a negative return on equity of 46.93%. Equities research analysts predict that Ascent Capital Group will post ($9.68) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Ascent Capital Group news, major shareholder Opportunistic Value Fun Okumus sold 6,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.13, for a total value of $113,058.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Okumus Fund Management Ltd. sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.11, for a total value of $34,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 161,100 shares of company stock valued at $2,727,103 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 8.65% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ASCMA. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 21.7% in the 4th quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 21,381 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $348,000 after acquiring an additional 3,808 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 55,373 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $782,000 after acquiring an additional 1,223 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 4.5% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 59,736 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $844,000 after acquiring an additional 2,546 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group in the 1st quarter worth $123,000. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 38,385 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $542,000 after acquiring an additional 456 shares during the last quarter. 82.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ascent Capital Group

Ascent Capital Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc (MONI) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). The Company’s segments include MONI, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The MONI segment is primarily engaged in the business of providing security alarm monitoring services: monitoring signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises, as well as providing customer service and technical support.

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