Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “BROOKE GROUP LTD. is principally engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and the sale of information processing systems. It also has investments in a number of additional companies engaged in a diverse group of businesses. “

Shares of VGR opened at $9.59 on Friday. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $9.63. Vector Group has a fifty-two week low of $8.62 and a fifty-two week high of $19.17. The company has a market capitalization of $1.35 billion, a PE ratio of 15.44 and a beta of 0.74.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The company reported $0.08 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.15 by ($0.07). Vector Group had a negative return on equity of 18.17% and a net margin of 3.54%. The business had revenue of $420.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $437.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.04 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Vector Group will post 0.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 27th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 16.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 17th. Vector Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 275.86%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of VGR. Lindbrook Capital LLC increased its position in Vector Group by 208.3% during the first quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 3,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,000 after acquiring an additional 2,331 shares during the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. increased its position in Vector Group by 21.4% during the fourth quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP increased its position in Vector Group by 28.3% during the first quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 4,845 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,000 after acquiring an additional 1,068 shares during the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in Vector Group by 500.9% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 6,556 shares of the company’s stock valued at $69,000 after acquiring an additional 5,465 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paloma Partners Management Co bought a new position in Vector Group during the fourth quarter valued at $116,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.34% of the company’s stock.

Vector Group Company Profile

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Tobacco and Real Estate. The company produces cigarettes in 109 combinations under the Pyramid, EAGLE 20's, Grand Prix, Liggett Select, Eve, and USA brand names, as well as various partner and private label brands.

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