Traders Purchase Large Volume of Huntsman Call Options (NYSE:HUN)

Huntsman Co. (NYSE:HUN) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 5,899 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 340% compared to the average daily volume of 1,340 call options.

Several analysts have commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Huntsman from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $25.00 to $34.00 in a research note on Friday, January 8th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft assumed coverage on shares of Huntsman in a research note on Thursday, October 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $30.00 price objective for the company. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $26.00 to $28.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 14th. Vertical Research upgraded shares of Huntsman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Huntsman from $26.00 to $31.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 14th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $26.17.

NYSE HUN traded down $0.60 on Wednesday, hitting $28.29. The company had a trading volume of 1,416,758 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,685,078. The company has a market capitalization of $6.24 billion, a PE ratio of 6.38, a PEG ratio of 6.54 and a beta of 1.56. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $25.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $22.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 1.56 and a quick ratio of 1.14. Huntsman has a 12-month low of $12.23 and a 12-month high of $29.18.

Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.07. Huntsman had a net margin of 16.55% and a return on equity of 5.27%. The company had revenue of $1.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Huntsman will post 0.83 EPS for the current year.

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

In related news, Director Mary C. Beckerle sold 15,251 shares of Huntsman stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.17, for a total value of $399,118.67. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $52,340. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 5.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Huntsman during the 2nd quarter valued at about $27,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Huntsman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $35,000. Dimension Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Huntsman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $37,000. CI Investments Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Huntsman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $47,000. Finally, Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd acquired a new position in Huntsman in the third quarter valued at about $48,000. 68.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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