Huntsman Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:HUN)

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Huntsman Co. (NYSE:HUN) saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Traders acquired 5,899 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 340% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,340 call options.

HUN stock traded down $0.60 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $28.29. 1,416,758 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,685,078. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $25.93 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $22.87. Huntsman has a 1-year low of $12.23 and a 1-year high of $29.18. The company has a market cap of $6.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.38, a PEG ratio of 6.54 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a quick ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 1.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.07. Huntsman had a return on equity of 5.27% and a net margin of 16.55%. The firm had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.48 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 10.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Huntsman will post 0.83 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 15th were issued a dividend of $0.1625 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 14th. This represents a $0.65 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.30%. Huntsman’s dividend payout ratio is 42.48%.

In other Huntsman news, Director Mary C. Beckerle sold 15,251 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.17, for a total transaction of $399,118.67. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $52,340. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 5.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Huntsman by 66.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,784,574 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,068,000 after acquiring an additional 710,250 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in Huntsman by 5.0% during the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 16,701 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $300,000 after purchasing an additional 793 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new position in Huntsman during the second quarter valued at approximately $194,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in Huntsman during the second quarter valued at approximately $225,000. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a new position in Huntsman during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,432,000. 68.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on HUN shares. BidaskClub raised Huntsman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Vertical Research raised Huntsman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 5th. Royal Bank of Canada raised Huntsman from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the company from $25.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Friday, January 8th. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Huntsman in a research report on Wednesday, September 16th. They set a “buy” rating and a $29.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Huntsman from $26.00 to $31.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, December 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $26.17.

About Huntsman

Huntsman Corporation manufactures and sells differentiated organic chemical products worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, and Textile Effects. The Polyurethanes segment offers polyurethane chemicals, including methyl diphenyl diisocyanate, polyols, thermoplastic polyurethane, propylene oxide, and methyl tertiary-butyl ether products.

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