Huntsman Target of Unusually High Options Trading (HUN)

Huntsman Co. (NYSE:HUN) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders acquired 4,689 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,417% compared to the typical volume of 309 put options.

In related news, VP J Kimo Esplin sold 34,399 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.81, for a total transaction of $1,094,232.19. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 398,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,691,331.13. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Huntsman in the first quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd increased its stake in shares of Huntsman by 383.2% in the first quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 4,803 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 3,809 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Huntsman during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $149,000. KBC Group NV acquired a new stake in Huntsman during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $155,000. Finally, Jump Trading LLC acquired a new stake in Huntsman during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $205,000. 79.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Huntsman stock opened at $29.26 on Thursday. Huntsman has a 1 year low of $24.51 and a 1 year high of $36.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.94 and a quick ratio of 1.58. The company has a market capitalization of $7.18 billion, a PE ratio of 11.80, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 2.73.

Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.19. Huntsman had a return on equity of 27.32% and a net margin of 8.98%. The company had revenue of $2.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.57 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 18.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Huntsman will post 3.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Huntsman declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 23rd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to buy up to 13.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be paid a $0.1625 dividend. This represents a $0.65 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Huntsman’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.21%.

Several research analysts have commented on HUN shares. ValuEngine downgraded Huntsman from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, March 17th. Citigroup lowered their target price on Huntsman from $43.00 to $42.50 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised Huntsman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Nomura downgraded Huntsman from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $40.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Finally, Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Huntsman in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $36.81.

About Huntsman

Huntsman Corporation, through its subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC, 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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