Investors Buy Large Volume of CME Group Call Options (CME)

CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) saw some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 16,399 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 764% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,899 call options.

In related news, CFO John W. Pietrowicz sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.86, for a total transaction of $449,650.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 32,720 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,885,019.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Martin J. Gepsman sold 300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.30, for a total value of $51,690.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 42,912 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,393,737.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 29,800 shares of company stock worth $5,628,462. 0.43% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CME. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of CME Group by 1.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,422,112 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,816,468,000 after acquiring an additional 403,327 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors grew its holdings in shares of CME Group by 18.3% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 15,425,378 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,625,554,000 after acquiring an additional 2,383,280 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its holdings in shares of CME Group by 107.8% in the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 10,906,683 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,856,427,000 after acquiring an additional 5,658,108 shares in the last quarter. Edgewood Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of CME Group by 9.5% in the third quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 8,582,518 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,460,830,000 after acquiring an additional 742,067 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of CME Group by 3.3% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,331,522 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,077,689,000 after acquiring an additional 202,365 shares in the last quarter. 85.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of CME Group stock opened at $187.11 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $63.96 billion, a PE ratio of 39.23, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.46. CME Group has a 52 week low of $143.68 and a 52 week high of $197.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15, a current ratio of 1.09 and a quick ratio of 1.09.

CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.45 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $904.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $910.50 million. CME Group had a return on equity of 9.18% and a net margin of 113.67%. On average, equities research analysts predict that CME Group will post 6.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 27th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 10th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.50%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 7th. CME Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 58.70%.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on CME. Barclays began coverage on CME Group in a research note on Tuesday. They set an “overweight” rating and a $210.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded CME Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Atlantic Securities began coverage on CME Group in a research note on Wednesday, November 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $200.00 price target on the stock. Berenberg Bank raised CME Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $220.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Finally, BidaskClub raised CME Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $194.13.

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About CME Group

CME Group Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates contract markets for the trading of futures and options on futures contracts worldwide. It offers a range of products across various asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products, and metals.

Further Reading: Buyback For Investors Defined

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