Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its holdings in shares of Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) by 10.6% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 39,379 shares of the business services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,772 shares during the quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can owned 0.07% of Alliance Data Systems worth $9,185,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 258,065 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $60,186,000 after purchasing an additional 8,800 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 153.8% during the 2nd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,599 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $606,000 after purchasing an additional 1,575 shares during the last quarter. Edgestream Partners L.P. increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Edgestream Partners L.P. now owns 26,237 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $6,118,000 after purchasing an additional 779 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,164,367 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $737,931,000 after purchasing an additional 48,926 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 5,195 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,211,000 after purchasing an additional 290 shares during the last quarter. 93.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research analysts have weighed in on ADS shares. ValuEngine raised Alliance Data Systems from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Robert W. Baird raised Alliance Data Systems from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $242.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Wolfe Research started coverage on Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $263.18.

In related news, EVP Bryan A. Pearson sold 3,424 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $231.67, for a total value of $793,238.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Charles L. Horn sold 16,035 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.58, for a total value of $3,729,420.30. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 28,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,672,255.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE ADS opened at $236.95 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 2.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.25. Alliance Data Systems Co. has a 12 month low of $192.02 and a 12 month high of $278.33. The company has a market cap of $13.08 billion, a PE ratio of 11.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 1.77.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The business services provider reported $5.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.64 by $0.37. Alliance Data Systems had a return on equity of 59.18% and a net margin of 11.35%. The company had revenue of $1.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $3.84 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Alliance Data Systems Co. will post 21.6 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.57 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 13th. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.96%. Alliance Data Systems’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.47%.

Alliance Data Systems announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Monday, July 30th that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the business services provider to purchase up to 4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

About Alliance Data Systems

Alliance Data Systems Corporation provides data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, and Card Services. The company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS)

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