Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) Short Interest Up 92.0% in March

Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of March. As of March 13th, there was short interest totalling 3,264,700 shares, a growth of 92.0% from the February 27th total of 1,700,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 865,200 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.8 days. Currently, 7.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

ADS traded down $0.96 during trading on Thursday, hitting $37.55. 1,702,509 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,272,068. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.17 and a beta of 1.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.87, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 2.01. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $76.55 and a 200 day moving average of $104.21. Alliance Data Systems has a 12-month low of $20.51 and a 12-month high of $182.95.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The business services provider reported $4.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.08 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.49 billion. Alliance Data Systems had a net margin of 5.57% and a return on equity of 42.99%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $7.04 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Alliance Data Systems will post 20.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 14th were given a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 13th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.71%. Alliance Data Systems’s payout ratio is currently 15.38%.

In related news, Director Sharen J. Turney purchased 1,725 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 23rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $30.16 per share, with a total value of $52,026.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 14,243 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $429,568.88. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Laura Santillan purchased 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 19th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $22.60 per share, for a total transaction of $67,800.00. Following the acquisition, the senior vice president now directly owns 29,127 shares in the company, valued at $658,270.20. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 11,355 shares of company stock worth $302,483 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 40.6% in the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 14,803 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,892,000 after purchasing an additional 4,276 shares during the period. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. purchased a new stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems in the 4th quarter worth about $5,406,000. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 36.2% in the 3rd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 19,926 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,553,000 after purchasing an additional 5,297 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC lifted its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 43.8% in the 4th quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 5,032 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $565,000 after purchasing an additional 1,533 shares during the period. Finally, Raging Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Alliance Data Systems in the 3rd quarter worth about $12,022,000. 91.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. JMP Securities cut shares of Alliance Data Systems from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 18th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Thursday, January 30th. ValuEngine raised shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, March 20th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $111.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, January 28th. Finally, Argus cut shares of Alliance Data Systems from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.88.

About Alliance Data Systems

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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