Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCMA) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ascent Capital Group, Inc. is a holding company and its assets primarily consist of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Monitronics International, Inc. The Company provides security alarm monitoring and related services to residential and business subscribers throughout the United States and parts of Canada. Monitronics monitors signals arising from burglaries, fires and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises. Ascent Capital Group, Inc., formerly known as Ascent Media Corporation, is based in Englewood, Colorado. “

ASCMA has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ascent Capital Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Imperial Capital increased their price objective on shares of Ascent Capital Group from $15.00 to $17.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $14.00 price objective on shares of Ascent Capital Group and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) traded down 4.301% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $13.015. The company had a trading volume of 22,981 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $158.37 million. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $11.25 and a 200 day moving average price of $13.60. Ascent Capital Group has a 52 week low of $8.87 and a 52 week high of $23.31.

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ:ASCMA) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The industrial products company reported ($3.58) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($1.90) by ($1.68). Ascent Capital Group had a negative return on equity of 46.93% and a negative net margin of 19.15%. The firm had revenue of $140.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $142.68 million. Analysts predict that Ascent Capital Group will post ($9.68) earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, major shareholder Opportunistic Value Fun Okumus sold 150,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.00, for a total transaction of $2,550,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Okumus Fund Management Ltd. sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.11, for a total transaction of $34,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 161,100 shares of company stock valued at $2,727,103. 8.65% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Zacks Investment Management increased its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Zacks Investment Management now owns 11,691 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $180,000 after buying an additional 97 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 38,385 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $542,000 after buying an additional 456 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 56,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $862,000 after buying an additional 687 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 41,000 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $629,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its holdings in shares of Ascent Capital Group by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 53,710 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $825,000 after buying an additional 1,090 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.23% of the company’s stock.

About Ascent Capital Group

Ascent Capital Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc (MONI) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). The Company’s segments include MONI, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The MONI segment is primarily engaged in the business of providing security alarm monitoring services: monitoring signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises, as well as providing customer service and technical support.

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