Equitable Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (NYSE:EQH)

Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:EQH) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders bought 3,356 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 893% compared to the average volume of 338 call options.

In other news, insider Nick Lane sold 23,352 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.46, for a total transaction of $734,653.92. Also, COO Jeffrey J. Hurd sold 55,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.84, for a total transaction of $1,822,620.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 289,632 shares of company stock worth $9,466,524. Insiders own 0.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY grew its stake in Equitable by 18.5% during the 1st quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 5,765 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 898 shares during the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC boosted its holdings in Equitable by 11.7% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 18,282 shares of the company’s stock worth $333,000 after acquiring an additional 1,916 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Equitable by 68.4% during the third quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,983,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,179,000 after acquiring an additional 805,656 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Equitable by 7.9% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 493,058 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,993,000 after acquiring an additional 36,099 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP acquired a new position in shares of Equitable during the third quarter valued at about $1,954,000. 87.91% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of EQH stock opened at $33.34 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $14.52 billion, a P/E ratio of -31.75 and a beta of 1.65. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $31.15 and its 200 day moving average is $25.77. Equitable has a 1-year low of $14.08 and a 1-year high of $33.70.

Equitable (NYSE:EQH) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 22nd. The company reported $1.65 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.44. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.37 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Equitable will post 4.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 4th were given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 3rd. Equitable’s payout ratio is presently 14.02%.

EQH has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Truist upped their target price on shares of Equitable from $26.00 to $35.00 in a research note on Thursday, February 18th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Equitable from $34.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on Equitable from $27.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Equitable from $34.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Equitable from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Equitable has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $32.17.

About Equitable

Equitable Holdings, Inc, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, operates as a diversified financial services company worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Investment Management and Research, and Protection Solutions. The Individual Retirement segment offers a suite of variable annuity products primarily to affluent and high net worth individuals.

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