Stewart Information Services Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:STC)

Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders acquired 1,680 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,853% compared to the average daily volume of 86 put options.

Shares of NYSE STC traded up $0.52 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $36.65. 2,344 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 155,189. The company has a market capitalization of $800.75 million, a P/E ratio of 16.77 and a beta of 0.56. Stewart Information Services has a 52-week low of $32.61 and a 52-week high of $45.75. The company has a current ratio of 3.75, a quick ratio of 3.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $36.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.61.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $472.08 million for the quarter. Stewart Information Services had a return on equity of 6.87% and a net margin of 2.24%. On average, analysts forecast that Stewart Information Services will post 2.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Stewart Information Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.56%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Stewart Information Services from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Stewart Information Services has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.33.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of STC. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 1,658.8% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 598 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 564 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Stewart Information Services during the first quarter worth about $127,000. Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 1.2% during the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 73,110 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,121,000 after buying an additional 839 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 2.5% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 23,542 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,034,000 after buying an additional 578 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 3.7% in the first quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 16,109 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $688,000 after acquiring an additional 573 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.38% of the company’s stock.

About Stewart Information Services

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property.

Further Reading: What is a Stop Order?

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