Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Green Plains (GPRE)

Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors bought 893 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,091% compared to the average daily volume of 75 call options.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on GPRE shares. Piper Jaffray reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 price target on shares of Green Plains in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Green Plains from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Green Plains from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Green Plains from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $26.20.

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In other news, EVP Michael A. Metzler sold 21,053 shares of Green Plains stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total transaction of $400,007.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 41,771 shares in the company, valued at $793,649. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Michelle Mapes sold 7,000 shares of Green Plains stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.27, for a total transaction of $134,890.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 35,515 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $684,374.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 5.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Green Plains by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,245,101 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $88,382,000 after purchasing an additional 276,910 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Green Plains by 4.2% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,503,869 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $70,603,000 after purchasing an additional 140,514 shares during the period. Private Management Group Inc. grew its holdings in Green Plains by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 1,139,763 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $19,205,000 after purchasing an additional 181,206 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in Green Plains by 65.5% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 986,647 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $19,734,000 after purchasing an additional 390,572 shares during the period. Finally, Mangrove Partners purchased a new stake in Green Plains in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $15,809,000.

Green Plains stock opened at $18.25 on Tuesday. Green Plains has a 1 year low of $15.60 and a 1 year high of $26.05. The company has a market capitalization of $724.49, a P/E ratio of -21.22, a P/E/G ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The specialty chemicals company reported ($0.16) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.17) by $0.01. Green Plains had a net margin of 1.70% and a negative return on equity of 3.33%. The firm had revenue of $920.98 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $953.30 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.47 earnings per share. Green Plains’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Green Plains will post 0.49 earnings per share for the current year.

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About Green Plains

Green Plains Inc produces, markets, and distributes ethanol in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Ethanol Production; Agribusiness and Energy Services; Food and Ingredients; and Partnership. The Ethanol Production segment produces and sells ethanol, distiller grains, and corn oil.

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