Highland Capital Management LLC Grows Position in Alliance Data Systems Co. (ADS)

Highland Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Alliance Data Systems Co. (NYSE:ADS) by 107.4% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 5,630 shares of the business services provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,915 shares during the quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Alliance Data Systems were worth $1,330,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ADS. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. purchased a new position in Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $117,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $127,000. Ledyard National Bank purchased a new position in Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $187,000. First Interstate Bank grew its stake in Alliance Data Systems by 45.2% during the 2nd quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 864 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $201,000 after buying an additional 269 shares during the last quarter. Finally, grace capital purchased a new position in Alliance Data Systems during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $210,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.74% of the company’s stock.

Alliance Data Systems stock opened at $223.11 on Friday. Alliance Data Systems Co. has a twelve month low of $192.02 and a twelve month high of $278.33. The company has a quick ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 2.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.25. The company has a market cap of $11.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.49, a P/E/G ratio of 0.79 and a beta of 1.76.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The business services provider reported $6.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $6.19 by $0.07. Alliance Data Systems had a return on equity of 59.18% and a net margin of 11.35%. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.03 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $5.35 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Alliance Data Systems Co. will post 21.61 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 19th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 14th will be issued a $0.57 dividend. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.02%. Alliance Data Systems’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.47%.

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

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ADS shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Alliance Data Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $258.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $280.00 price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Stephens restated a “buy” rating and set a $288.00 price target on shares of Alliance Data Systems in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Alliance Data Systems in a research report on Monday, September 17th. They set a “buy” rating and a $290.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $253.00 price objective on Alliance Data Systems and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $262.06.

In other news, CFO Charles L. Horn sold 16,035 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 24th. The stock was 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 directly owns 28,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,672,255.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Bryan A. Pearson sold 3,424 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $231.67, for a total value of $793,238.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Alliance Data Systems Profile

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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