Liberty Global plc (LBTYA) Stock Too Hot to Handle

Analysts at Macquarie cut their rating on shares of Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA) from Outperform to Neutral in their opinion released on July 11. Analysts at Credit Suisse issued an upgrade from Neutral to Outperform for the stock, in a research note that dated back to April 19.

How do you judge Wall Street’s opinion of LBTYA stock? You could look at price, sure. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Short sellers are getting bullish about Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA) during the most recent two-week period. Looking at the sentiment indicator for the LBTYA stock we see that the short-interest ratio is at 3.074204 while the average analyst recommendations at 2.1 suggests buying these shares. Between December 14 and December 31, the total number of shorted shares amounted to 5.54 million shares. That was 1.23% less than the total of 5.61 million shares in the space of prior two weeks, which means more traders or funds betting that the stock will go up. Average daily volume for Liberty Global plc at the December 31st settlement jumped to 1,803,125, as compared to 1,549,563 at the December 14th report. That brought days to cover 15.12% down from the 3.621911 days to cover recorded at the prior short interest data release.

By watching the trading activity of corporate insiders, it will become easier to get a sense of Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA)’s prospects. The earliest insider trade took place on 09/17/2018. Bracken Charles H R parted with a total of 46.05 thousand shares of company at average share price of $27.27. The total for the sales was set at $1.26 million. After this transaction, the EVP & CFO account balance stood at 0 thousand shares. The stock lost -23.32 percent since that insider sale. On 06/06/2018, Gould Paul A, Director, sold 17.93 thousand shares at a price per share of $28.24. This removed 506.31 thousand shares from the insider’s fortune and the stock saw a -25.96 percent retreat in value since the news became public. This transaction left 970.26 thousand shares in the Director account. On 06/04/2018, Director Sparkman J C performed a sale transaction worth $1.21 million. This sale at $28.88 each has eliminated 41.86 thousand shares from the insider’s portfolio position. Meanwhile, shares have recorded -27.6 percent decrease since the transaction was reported. The insider now is left with 26.3 thousand shares remaining in the account. Dick John W, who performs the Director job, sold 22.7 thousand shares for $630.83 thousand. The disposal occurred on 05/31/2018 was priced at $27.79 per share. The share price plunged -24.76 percent since the reporting date. Dick John W now left with a stake of 62.51 thousand LBTYA stock worth $1.31 million after the insider selling.

Liberty Global plc (LBTYA) is expected to jump by 66.38 percent over the next 12 months, according to price target estimates compiled by finviz. Meanwhile, they have set a $46.5-month high price target. This represents a whopping 122.38 percent increase from where shares are trading today. The 12-month median price target assigned by the analysts stands at $35.8, which represents a return potential of 71.21 percent when compared to the closing price of the stock of $20.91 on Friday, January 11. The lowest price target for the stock is $16 — slightly more than -23.48 percent from LBTYA’s current share price.

The shares are currently floating around the first support level of $20.44. Below this, the next support is placed in the zone of $19.97. Till the time, the LBTYA stock trades above this level, bulls have nothing to fear. On momentum oscillators front, ‘RSI’ has touched 39.8 on daily chart, which may remain a cause for comfort. If the price breaks below $19.97 level on closing basis, then we may see more profit booking and the stock may show further weakness. On the flipside, hitting the $21.23 mark may result into a pull-back move towards $21.55 level.

LBTYA shares accumulated 0.35 points or 1.7 percent on Friday to $20.91 with a heavy trade volume of 4.522 million shares. After opening the session at $20.5, the shares went as high as $21.08 and as low as $20.29, the range within which the stock’s price traded throughout the day. The firm is left with a market cap of $15.1 billion and now has 722.57 million shares outstanding. Liberty Global plc (LBTYA) stock has lost -11.47 percent of market value in 21 trading days.

LBTYA stock has a trailing 3-year beta of 1.46, offering the possibility of a higher rate of return, but also posing more risk. The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock was -$1.78 a share in the trailing twelve months. The stock’s value has fallen -2.01 percent year to date (YTD) against a decline of -40.09 percent in 12 month’s time. The company’s shares still trade -47.37 percent away from its 1-year high of $39.73 and 5.18 percent up from 52-week low of $19.88. The average consensus rating on the company is 2.1, on a scale where 5 equates to a unanimous sell rating. In short, the mean analyst recommendations are calling this stock a sell.

Shares of Liberty Global plc (LBTYA) are trading at a P/E ratio of 0 times earnings reported for the past 12 months. The industry LBTYA operates in has an average P/E of 16.03. Its P/E ratio went as low as 14.18X and as high as 14.18 over the 5-year span. Further, it is sporting a 1.01 on the Price-to-Sales ratio. Compare this with the industry average P/S of 4.52. 61.2 percent is the gross profit margin for Liberty Global plc and operating margin sits at 0 percent. Along with this, the net profit margin is 0 percent.