Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. offers a wide range of telecommunications services including local and long distance telephone, Digital Phone, High-Speed Internet access and Digital TV to individuals and businesses in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The company also offers telephone directory publishing services, wholesale transport services, billing and collection services, inside wiring services, and maintenance services. Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois. “

CNSL has been the topic of several other reports. Drexel Hamilton upgraded Consolidated Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine downgraded Consolidated Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Cowen restated a hold rating and issued a $21.00 price objective on shares of Consolidated Communications in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Jefferies Group reduced their price objective on Consolidated Communications from $21.00 to $19.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Consolidated Communications has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $22.00.

Shares of Consolidated Communications (CNSL) traded down $0.04 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $12.32. The stock had a trading volume of 790,212 shares, compared to its average volume of 961,975. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.61, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.88. Consolidated Communications has a twelve month low of $12.03 and a twelve month high of $26.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $875.53, a P/E ratio of -22.81, a P/E/G ratio of 21.79 and a beta of 0.74.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Monday, January 15th will be paid a $0.387 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 11th. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a yield of 12.56%. Consolidated Communications’s payout ratio is currently -287.03%.

In other news, Director Thomas A. Gerke purchased 6,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $14.63 per share, for a total transaction of $100,215.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 12,667 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $185,318.21. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert J. Currey purchased 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $13.43 per share, with a total value of $67,150.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 45,995 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $617,712.85. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 17,550 shares of company stock valued at $247,203 over the last quarter. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CNSL. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Consolidated Communications by 12.5% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 360,612 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,743,000 after acquiring an additional 40,190 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Consolidated Communications during the second quarter worth about $127,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Consolidated Communications by 8.9% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 98,926 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,125,000 after acquiring an additional 8,091 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Consolidated Communications by 42.4% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 15,630 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $336,000 after acquiring an additional 4,657 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in Consolidated Communications by 41.9% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 33,422 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $714,000 after acquiring an additional 9,876 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.79% of the company’s stock.

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Consolidated Communications Company Profile

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc is a holding company with operating subsidiaries that provide integrated communications services in consumer, commercial and carrier channels in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

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