Stocks to Watch: Virtu Financial Inc. (VIRT), Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH)

You should consider shares of Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:VIRT) and Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE:ATH) if you are looking for a great stocks to invest in. Starting with the VIRT shares, which traded at $16.75 at the close of the recent session, gaining 2.13%. On Tuesday, the company’s shares shed $0.35 from its value which represented in intraday trading. The stock is now -33.45% lower in year-to-date (YTD) trading. VIRT’s intraday high was $16.79 while its lowest price touched $16.355. The stock’s 52-week high price is $29.17, which means the current price is at -42.58%. In terms of trading activity, the daily trading volume rose to 1131361 against 200-day average trading volume of 969,070 shares.

What are analyst forecasts for Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:VIRT)?

At a consensus rating of 4.00, VIRT is trending as a streaking Moderate Buy, as it has been the case a month ago when 4 analysts called it a Strong Buy. Two months ago, 4 analysts recommended, on average, that VIRT stock is a Strong Buy. The Financial company’s shares’ overall bullish trend saw it close higher on Tuesday compared to its opening price of $16.40 on the day.

Forecasts for Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:VIRT) give the stock a fair value for the growth of 9.46% from its last price. The 12-month price forecast for the stock by analysts puts the stock’s mean price target at $18.50, which means the price per share could rise by nearly $1.75. The price range target is between a low of $17.00 and a high of $20.00. The stock would need to gain by about $16.25 to hit the estimated high or 0.91% from its 12-month low.

The consensus among 10 analysts is that it is a good time for one to Overweight in the Virtu Financial Inc. 5 analysts rate VIRT as a Buy, with 0 of 10 analysts rate it as a Sell. 0 have valued the stock as Overweight and 5 have recommended that investors Hold.

Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:VIRT) Upgrades and Downgrades

In terms of rating changes, UBS on November 08, 2019, Downgrade Virtu Financial Inc. (VIRT) at Neutral. They believe the stock could reach $17 in the near term. Analysts at JP Morgan have assigned a Overweight rating for the stock in their research note on September 03, 2019 with an estimated price target of $23. Moreover, Rosenblatt analysts issued a rating of Buy for the stock on June 26, 2019, giving it a price target of $29 for the next 12 months. On January 04, 2019, the stock earned a Buy rating due to an analyst call from Goldman, while analysts from Compass Point on September 19, 2018 suggested that the stock is Neutral.

Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE:ATH) adds -$0.88 on Tuesday

The ATH stock has risen 9.64% year-to-date and is currently trading at $43.67, which is -5.21% below its 52-week high. The company shares lost -1.98% on the day and have risen nearly 21.31% off a low hit. At current levels, Athene Holding Ltd. has a valuation of about $13.83B. As of 12/03/19, this stock has fallen -2.04% during the week and closed at $44.55 in the previous session. However, recent Athene Holding Ltd. stock performance shows that ATH shares are -1.42% down over the last month, and 13.81% up for the last three months.

Earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the current quarter are $1.2, with the trailing 12-month share earnings at $8.28. The ratio is expected to be up by 10.80% for the current year 2019 and 16.30% for next year. Over the next 5-year period, earnings per share will be 12.29%. But will the ATH stock surprise in the current quarter results, where the $1.34 actual EPS reported on 9/29/2019 surprised by -24.70% or was lower by -$0.44 from the estimated $1.78.

Sales Growth to climb 6.50% for the year

How well will Athene Holding Ltd. perform as a business over the current quarter, year and next 5-year period? Compared to the year-ago quarter, analysts forecast the company to bring in between $1.25B and $1.31B in current quarter sales. The consensus estimated for the current quarter is $1.29B from sales. Forecasts for this fiscal year are between $5.09B and $5.13B and the consensus estimate for sales is at $5.12B. ATH has its next quarter sales estimates at between $1.3B and $1.38B, with the quarter-over-quarter growth estimates at 10.30% and the annual growth forecast for the year at 6.50%.

Who owns shares in Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH)?

Let’s briefly focus on the share ownership of the Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE:ATH) stock, where we find that 8.22% of shares are held by institutions. Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) tops the list of institutional owners as it is holding 13.78 million shares or 9.18% of shares outstanding. Wellington Management Company, LLP and CI Investments Inc. held 13.48 million and 7.94 million representing 8.98% and 5.28% respectively at the close of the last trading session. As of Sep 29, 2019, Blackrock Inc. accounted for 7.7 million shares at over 324.01 million. This represented 5.13% of shares outstanding. AQR Capital Management, LLC held 6.4 million shares at over 269.22 million representing 4.26% of shares outstanding.

ATH Insider Activity

Insider activity can also give a signal in terms of price direction. Looking at Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH), a total of 137000 shares have been sold by insiders over the last 6 months while 57000 shares were added in the same time span. On 3/01/2019, Chairman, CEO & CIO by the name Belardi James R sold 18608.0 shares worth $829000.0 at the price of $44.55 per share. Filings also show that Gills Frank L sold a total of 10000.0 shares on 5/09/2019 valued at $449800.0. Since the last insider activity, the company’s share price has dropped -0.54%.