Masco Sees Unusually High Options Volume (MAS)

Masco Corp (NYSE:MAS) was the target of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 7,161 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,037% compared to the average volume of 630 call options.

Shares of Masco (NYSE MAS) opened at $45.90 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.43, a current ratio of 1.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 49.48. Masco has a 52-week low of $31.29 and a 52-week high of $46.44. The company has a market capitalization of $14,440.00, a P/E ratio of 27.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.58.

Masco (NYSE:MAS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The construction company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.03). Masco had a negative return on equity of 7,325.00% and a net margin of 7.23%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.41 EPS. Masco’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Masco will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 12th will be given a $0.105 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 11th. This represents a $0.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Masco’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.85%.

In other news, VP Renee Straber sold 2,574 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.55, for a total transaction of $109,523.70. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 65,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,783,748.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO John G. Sznewajs sold 52,511 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.83, for a total value of $2,091,513.13. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 391,443 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,591,174.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 88,961 shares of company stock worth $3,537,891. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Masco by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,207,284 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,192,431,000 after acquiring an additional 778,320 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Masco by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 20,535,390 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $784,657,000 after acquiring an additional 1,439,946 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Masco by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 13,065,004 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $506,663,000 after acquiring an additional 763,078 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Masco by 31.3% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 8,246,426 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $315,096,000 after acquiring an additional 1,963,938 shares during the period. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Masco by 4.6% during the 3rd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,218,130 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $320,590,000 after buying an additional 362,903 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have issued reports on MAS shares. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Masco in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Argus raised their target price on Masco from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Barclays set a $45.00 target price on Masco and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. FBR & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 target price (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Masco in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Nomura set a $45.00 target price on Masco and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.47.

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About Masco

Masco Corporation designs, manufactures, markets and distributes branded home improvement and building products. The Company operates through four business segments: Plumbing Products, Decorative Architectural Products, Cabinetry Products, and Windows and Other Specialty Products. The Company’s portfolio of brands includes BEHR paint; DELTA and HANSGROHE faucets, bath and shower fixtures; KRAFTMAID and MERILLAT cabinets; MILGARD windows and doors, and HOT SPRING spas.

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