Virtu Financial (VIRT) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $28.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Virtu Financial, Inc. is a financial holding company. The company offers a technology platform through which it provides quotations to buyers and sellers in equities, commodities, currencies, options, fixed income and other securities on exchanges, markets and liquidity pools. Virtu Financial, Inc. is headquartered in New York. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine cut Virtu Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 12th. BidaskClub cut Virtu Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Morgan Stanley set a $29.00 price target on Virtu Financial and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised Virtu Financial from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $29.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.10.

Virtu Financial stock traded up $0.04 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $24.67. The stock had a trading volume of 696,939 shares, compared to its average volume of 788,095. The company has a current ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The company has a market capitalization of $4.68 billion, a PE ratio of 12.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.86 and a beta of -0.73. Virtu Financial has a one year low of $19.65 and a one year high of $37.85.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $299.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $292.87 million. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 24.62% and a net margin of 15.39%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.22 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Virtu Financial will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were paid a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.89%. Virtu Financial’s payout ratio is 48.98%.

In related news, CEO Douglas A. Cifu sold 127,088 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.31, for a total transaction of $3,343,685.28. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 138,544 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,645,092.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 73.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VIRT. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $26,270,000. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in Virtu Financial by 223.1% during the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 991,071 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $22,333,000 after purchasing an additional 684,371 shares during the period. Strycker View Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $16,486,000. Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco LLC acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial during the fourth quarter worth approximately $10,953,000. Finally, Barclays PLC grew its stake in Virtu Financial by 11,084.9% during the fourth quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 379,168 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,767,000 after purchasing an additional 375,778 shares during the period. 55.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Virtu Financial Company Profile

Virtu Financial, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides market making and liquidity services through its proprietary, multi-asset, and multi-currency technology platform to the financial markets worldwide. The company's Market Making segment principally consists of market making in the cash, futures, and options markets across equities, options, fixed income, currencies, and commodities.

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Analyst Recommendations for Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT)

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