Investors Buy High Volume of Put Options on Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION)

Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 3,110 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,031% compared to the average daily volume of 275 put options.

Shares of NASDAQ ZION traded down $1.45 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $51.44. 2,471,774 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,331,854. Zions Bancorp has a 52 week low of $38.43 and a 52 week high of $57.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 0.88. The company has a market capitalization of $10,393.64, a P/E ratio of 17.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.38.

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Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 22nd. The bank reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $665.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $670.55 million. Zions Bancorp had a net margin of 21.58% and a return on equity of 9.04%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.60 EPS. analysts forecast that Zions Bancorp will post 3.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Alexander Hume sold 7,196 shares of Zions Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.87, for a total value of $387,648.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President Scott J. Mclean sold 31,309 shares of Zions Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.15, for a total transaction of $1,758,000.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,224 shares of company stock valued at $3,156,817 over the last quarter. 1.46% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Crewe Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Zions Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth $102,000. Delpha Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Zions Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth $107,000. G&S Capital LLC bought a new stake in Zions Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth $115,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in Zions Bancorp by 1,274.6% in the fourth quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,763 shares of the bank’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 2,562 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC lifted its stake in Zions Bancorp by 2,081.2% in the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 3,010 shares of the bank’s stock worth $152,000 after purchasing an additional 2,872 shares during the last quarter. 94.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several brokerages have commented on ZION. Piper Jaffray reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Zions Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. B. Riley reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target (up from $60.00) on shares of Zions Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Sandler O’Neill reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Zions Bancorp in a report on Friday, March 9th. UBS began coverage on shares of Zions Bancorp in a report on Wednesday, March 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $67.00 price target for the company. Finally, Raymond James Financial raised shares of Zions Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, March 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. Zions Bancorp has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.67.

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Zions Bancorp Company Profile

Zions Bancorporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its banking operations through separately managed and branded segments, including Zions Bank, Amegy Bank, California Bank & Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank (NSB), Vectra Bank Colorado, The Commerce Bank of Washington (TCBW) and Other.

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