Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Put Options on Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY)

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders bought 486 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 753% compared to the typical volume of 57 put options.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Valley National Bancorp from $9.00 to $10.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Valley National Bancorp from $9.75 to $10.50 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 8th. Citigroup cut shares of Valley National Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $7.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, June 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Valley National Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $11.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Valley National Bancorp has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $10.10.

Shares of VLY opened at $7.70 on Wednesday. Valley National Bancorp has a 52 week low of $6.00 and a 52 week high of $12.14. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $7.84 and its 200 day simple moving average is $9.06.

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The financial services provider reported $0.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $306.74 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $286.94 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.22 EPS.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be issued a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 12th.

In other news, EVP Joseph Chillura sold 45,972 shares of Valley National Bancorp stock in a transaction on Friday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.34, for a total transaction of $429,378.48. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 691,256 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,456,331.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Kevin J. Lynch purchased 6,350 shares of Valley National Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 9th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $9.47 per share, for a total transaction of $60,134.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.45% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Valley National Bancorp by 30.3% during the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 65,286 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $748,000 after acquiring an additional 15,163 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in Valley National Bancorp by 12.6% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 13,066,654 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $149,613,000 after acquiring an additional 1,460,993 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Valley National Bancorp by 69.1% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,142,643 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,353,000 after buying an additional 466,862 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Valley National Bancorp by 9.7% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 5,973,503 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $43,666,000 after buying an additional 529,555 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Valley National Bancorp by 30.8% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,626,102 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $64,419,000 after buying an additional 1,323,913 shares during the period. 55.94% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Valley National Bancorp

Valley National Bancorp operates as the holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, trust, and investment services. The company operates through Commercial Lending, Consumer Lending, and Investment Management segments. Its deposit products include non-interest bearing, savings, NOW, and money market deposits, as well as certificates of deposit.

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