Traders Buy High Volume of Put Options on VeriFone (PAY)

VeriFone Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PAY) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 10,446 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 2,118% compared to the average daily volume of 471 put options.

PAY has been the subject of several recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of VeriFone from $20.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of VeriFone in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of VeriFone from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Tigress Financial reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of VeriFone in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of VeriFone in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. VeriFone currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.45.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PAY. Zions Bancorporation bought a new position in shares of VeriFone in the third quarter valued at $108,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of VeriFone in the fourth quarter valued at $123,000. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of VeriFone in the fourth quarter valued at $186,000. FDx Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of VeriFone in the fourth quarter valued at $199,000. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new position in shares of VeriFone in the fourth quarter valued at $216,000.

NYSE PAY traded down $0.56 on Friday, hitting $15.17. 1,319,743 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,787,298. The firm has a market cap of $1,674.04, a PE ratio of 15.97, a P/E/G ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.76. VeriFone has a 12 month low of $14.93 and a 12 month high of $21.48. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93.

VeriFone (NYSE:PAY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The business services provider reported $0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $425.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $419.43 million. VeriFone had a positive return on equity of 14.11% and a negative net margin of 8.09%. The firm’s revenue was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.21 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that VeriFone will post 1.21 earnings per share for the current year.

VeriFone declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, December 12th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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About VeriFone

VeriFone Systems, Inc offers payments and commerce solutions. The Company is engaged in designing, manufacturing, marketing and supplying a range of payment solutions and complementary services. It provides solutions and services for the retail point-of-sale (POS) that enable various forms of commerce.

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