Short Interest in Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE:NLSN) Rises By 21.3%

Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE:NLSN) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of March. As of March 13th, there was short interest totalling 25,610,900 shares, a growth of 21.3% from the February 27th total of 21,110,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,810,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.7 days. Currently, 7.3% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of NLSN stock traded down $0.27 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $12.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 242,398 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,580,062. Nielsen has a 52 week low of $11.84 and a 52 week high of $27.28. The company has a market cap of $4.63 billion, a PE ratio of -10.88 and a beta of 0.95. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $17.56 and its 200-day simple moving average is $19.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.25, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a current ratio of 0.79.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 27th. The business services provider reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.68 billion. Nielsen had a positive return on equity of 22.20% and a negative net margin of 6.39%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.51 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Nielsen will post 1.6 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 19th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 5th were paid a dividend of $0.06 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 4th. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. Nielsen’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 14.20%.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Nielsen from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 4th. SunTrust Banks lowered their price objective on Nielsen from $25.00 to $23.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 3rd. Robert W. Baird lowered Nielsen from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, February 28th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Nielsen from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $19.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, March 4th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed an “underweight” rating and issued a $20.00 target price on shares of Nielsen in a report on Tuesday, December 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nielsen presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.83.

In other Nielsen news, CEO David W. Kenny acquired 55,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 28th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $18.08 per share, for a total transaction of $1,001,632.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 655,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,856,719.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director James A. Attwood, Jr. acquired 250,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 6th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $14.28 per share, for a total transaction of $3,570,000.00. 0.31% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NLSN. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Nielsen by 48.3% in the third quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 249,556 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $5,303,000 after purchasing an additional 81,310 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Nielsen by 1.3% in the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 15,859,616 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $337,017,000 after purchasing an additional 200,690 shares during the last quarter. Andra AP fonden lifted its stake in Nielsen by 10.7% in the third quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 272,700 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $5,795,000 after purchasing an additional 26,400 shares during the last quarter. Redwood Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Nielsen by 9.3% in the third quarter. Redwood Investment Management LLC now owns 64,860 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,378,000 after purchasing an additional 5,534 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in Nielsen by 0.8% in the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 627,544 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $13,335,000 after purchasing an additional 4,973 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.33% of the company’s stock.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a measurement and data analytics company. It operates in two segments, Buy and Watch. The Buy segment provides retail transactional measurement data, consumer behavior information, and analytics primarily to businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry.

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