Ardagh Group SA (NYSE:ARD) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 239,300 shares, an increase of 88.4% from the July 31st total of 127,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 93,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.6 days. Approximately 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Shares of ARD traded up $0.35 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $18.12. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,499 shares, compared to its average volume of 82,963. Ardagh Group has a one year low of $10.09 and a one year high of $20.00. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $17.08 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $15.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $325.37 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 1.21.

Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.01). Ardagh Group had a negative net margin of 0.61% and a negative return on equity of 26.87%. The business had revenue of $2.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.32 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.51 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Ardagh Group will post 1.66 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 16th were paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 15th.

A number of research firms have commented on ARD. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ardagh Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Ardagh Group from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $15.00 to $17.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. ValuEngine lowered Ardagh Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price target on Ardagh Group from $16.00 to $22.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ardagh Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $18.22.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ardagh Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $201,000. Clearbridge Investments LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 0.5% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,379,538 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,934,000 after acquiring an additional 6,820 shares in the last quarter. Machina Capital S.A.S. acquired a new stake in shares of Ardagh Group during the 2nd quarter valued at $76,000. Gabelli Funds LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 54.5% during the 2nd quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 15,586 shares of the company’s stock valued at $273,000 after acquiring an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Management Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 15.8% during the 1st quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 1,554,714 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,211,000 after acquiring an additional 212,111 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.26% of the company’s stock.

About Ardagh Group

Ardagh Group SA manufactures and supplies rigid packaging solutions primarily for the food and beverage markets worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Metal Packaging Europe, Metal Packaging Americas, Glass Packaging Europe, and Glass Packaging North America. Its metal packaging products include aluminum and steel beverage cans; two-piece aluminum, two-piece tinplate, and three-piece tinplate food and specialty cans; and a range of can ends, including easy-open and peelable ends.

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