United States Cellular Corporation (USM) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “U.S. Cellular posted mixed third-quarter 2017 results with massive subscriber gain. We believe the company’s succeeded in subscriber additions and churn management on the back of numerous 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. Costs associated with network integration and construction of cell sites, aggressive pricing by larger rivals and fall in service revenues are other major risks. Over the past three months, the stock price underperformed its industry's loss.”

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded shares of United States Cellular Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $36.67.

Shares of United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE USM) traded down $0.44 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $33.04. 63,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 101,686. United States Cellular Corporation has a 52 week low of $32.29 and a 52 week high of $46.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 2.23 and a quick ratio of 2.08. The firm has a market cap of $2,849.55, a P/E ratio of 85.85 and a beta of 0.79.

United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.01 by $0.10. United States Cellular Corporation had a negative net margin of 6.93% and a positive return on equity of 0.94%. The company had revenue of $963.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $968.80 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that United States Cellular Corporation will post -3.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of USM. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in United States Cellular Corporation by 43.9% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 23,303 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $870,000 after buying an additional 7,104 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in United States Cellular Corporation by 13.6% during the 1st quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 48,516 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $1,811,000 after buying an additional 5,799 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in United States Cellular Corporation by 6.4% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,746,129 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $65,183,000 after buying an additional 104,640 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in United States Cellular Corporation by 30.4% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 142,233 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $5,309,000 after buying an additional 33,196 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in United States Cellular Corporation by 9.1% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 933,874 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock worth $34,862,000 after buying an additional 78,285 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 14.54% 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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