Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCVL) saw unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors acquired 2,033 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,818% compared to the average volume of 106 call options.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Shoe Carnival from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Pivotal Research started coverage on shares of Shoe Carnival in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. They issued a “hold” rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Shoe Carnival from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. Jefferies Group set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Shoe Carnival and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, November 18th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective (up previously from $27.00) on shares of Shoe Carnival in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.86.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Shoe Carnival by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 22,564 shares of the company’s stock worth $471,000 after purchasing an additional 557 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its position in Shoe Carnival by 13.6% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 10,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. grew its position in Shoe Carnival by 12.5% in the 2nd quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 17,658 shares of the company’s stock valued at $368,000 after acquiring an additional 1,961 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in Shoe Carnival by 6.4% in the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 49,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,040,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in Shoe Carnival by 11.1% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 48,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,021,000 after acquiring an additional 4,880 shares in the last quarter. 66.01% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL) opened at $26.41 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $447.70, a P/E ratio of 19.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.06. Shoe Carnival has a fifty-two week low of $15.07 and a fifty-two week high of $28.38.

Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.08. Shoe Carnival had a net margin of 2.17% and a return on equity of 7.81%. The business had revenue of $287.47 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $286.90 million. research analysts expect that Shoe Carnival will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, January 8th will be issued a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 5th. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.14%. Shoe Carnival’s payout ratio is currently 21.90%.

Shoe Carnival declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, December 19th that authorizes the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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About Shoe Carnival

Shoe Carnival, Inc is a family footwear retailer. The Company’s primary activity is the sale of footwear and related products through its retail stores in approximately 30 states within the continental United States and in Puerto Rico. It also offers online shopping on its e-commerce site at www.shoecarnival.com.

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