Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 11,959 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 171% compared to the average daily volume of 4,407 put options.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on HAL shares. HSBC Holdings plc started coverage on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $65.00 price objective for the company. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Credit Suisse Group set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective (down from $66.00) on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, twenty-eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Halliburton presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $59.61.

In other Halliburton news, Director William E. Albrecht acquired 8,000 shares of Halliburton stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 15th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $46.33 per share, for a total transaction of $370,640.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 8,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $370,640. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Israel Discount Bank of New York GFN purchased a new stake in Halliburton during the fourth quarter valued at about $100,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Halliburton during the first quarter valued at about $100,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in Halliburton by 0.8% in the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,049 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the period. Ledyard National Bank raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 6.5% in the second quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 2,469 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 87.6% in the second quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 2,711 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 1,266 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.67% of the company’s stock.

Halliburton (HAL) opened at 44.38 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $43.66 and a 200-day moving average of $49.22. The stock’s market cap is $38.52 billion. Halliburton has a 52-week low of $40.12 and a 52-week high of $58.78.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last released its earnings results on Monday, April 24th. The oilfield services company reported $0.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.30 billion. Halliburton had a negative net margin of 21.19% and a negative return on equity of 0.48%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.07 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Halliburton will post $1.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 6th will be issued a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 1st. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.62%. Halliburton’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -18.32%.

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Halliburton Company Profile

Halliburton Company provides services and products to the upstream oil and natural gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir, from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the field.

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