Traders Purchase Large Volume of Lear Put Options (LEA)

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Lear Co. (NYSE:LEA) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors bought 2,033 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 3,179% compared to the average volume of 62 put options.

Shares of NYSE:LEA opened at $135.09 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.67 billion, a PE ratio of 7.41, a PEG ratio of 3.10 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. Lear has a fifty-two week low of $114.45 and a fifty-two week high of $206.36.

Lear (NYSE:LEA) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 25th. The auto parts company reported $4.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.96 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.99 billion. Lear had a net margin of 5.37% and a return on equity of 27.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $4.38 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Lear will post 17.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were issued a $0.75 dividend. This is an increase from Lear’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.22%. Lear’s payout ratio is presently 16.47%.

Lear announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 7th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the auto parts company to buy up to 15.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

LEA has been the topic of several research reports. UBS Group raised shares of Lear from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lear from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Jefferies Financial Group initiated coverage on shares of Lear in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $166.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Lear from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. Finally, Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and set a $142.00 price objective on shares of Lear in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $179.13.

In other Lear news, VP Shari L. Burgess sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.00, for a total transaction of $546,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Terrence B. Larkin sold 18,985 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.28, for a total transaction of $2,947,990.80. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,752 shares in the company, valued at $427,330.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.43% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Lear by 28.0% in the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,228 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $468,000 after purchasing an additional 706 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Lear by 1.6% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 248,282 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $36,001,000 after purchasing an additional 3,995 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its stake in shares of Lear by 8.0% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 7,206 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $1,045,000 after purchasing an additional 535 shares during the period. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Lear by 61.1% in the third quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 18,462 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $2,677,000 after purchasing an additional 7,000 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers lifted its stake in shares of Lear by 10.4% in the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 84,236 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $12,214,000 after purchasing an additional 7,945 shares during the period. 88.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Lear Company Profile

Lear Corporation designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, assembles, and supplies automotive seating, and electrical distribution systems and related components for automotive original equipment manufacturers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seating and E-Systems. The Seating segment offers leather and fabric products, seat trim covers, recliner mechanisms, seat tracks and foams, seat structures and mechanisms, and headrests for automobiles and light trucks, compact cars, and sport utility vehicles; and heating and cooling systems.

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