VEREIT Inc. (NYSE:VER) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 29,157,497 shares, an increase of 16.4% from the June 15th total of 25,046,319 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 11,285,265 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.6 days. Approximately 3.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Evercore ISI reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and issued a $9.00 target price on shares of VEREIT in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. BMO Capital Markets set a $10.00 target price on VEREIT and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded VEREIT from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. BidaskClub raised VEREIT from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded VEREIT from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. VEREIT presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $9.80.

In other VEREIT news, insider Thomas W. Roberts bought 15,000 shares of VEREIT stock in a transaction on Monday, May 15th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $7.60 per share, with a total value of $114,000.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 599,876 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,559,057.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Glenn J. Rufrano bought 32,000 shares of VEREIT stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $7.81 per share, for a total transaction of $249,920.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 1,962,657 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,328,351.17. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders acquired 91,725 shares of company stock worth $706,509. Company insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of VEREIT by 40.5% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 433,874 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,670,000 after buying an additional 125,018 shares during the period. FIL Ltd raised its position in shares of VEREIT by 17.3% in the first quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 1,327,981 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,275,000 after buying an additional 195,417 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of VEREIT by 36.1% in the first quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,984,129 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $33,825,000 after buying an additional 1,055,773 shares during the period. Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of VEREIT during the first quarter valued at about $200,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of VEREIT by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 1,282,304 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $10,848,000 after buying an additional 23,743 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.82% of the company’s stock.

Shares of VEREIT (NYSE:VER) opened at 8.43 on Tuesday. VEREIT has a 12-month low of $7.44 and a 12-month high of $11.09. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $8.11 and its 200 day moving average price is $8.44. The firm’s market cap is $8.21 billion.

VEREIT (NYSE:VER) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The financial services provider reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. VEREIT had a negative net margin of 4.77% and a negative return on equity of 0.80%. The company had revenue of $348.03 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $297.94 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.21 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that VEREIT will post ($1.70) EPS for the current year.

VEREIT declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Monday, May 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th were given a $0.1375 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.55 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.52%. VEREIT’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -366.67%.

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About VEREIT

VEREIT, Inc is a full-service real estate operating company. The Company operates through two business segments: real estate investment (REI) segment and investment management segment, Cole Capital. As of December 31, 2016, through its REI segment, the Company owned and managed a portfolio of 4,142 retail, restaurant, office and industrial real estate properties with an aggregate of 93.3 million square feet, which are located in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

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