Stock Traders Purchase Large Volume of Lamb Weston Put Options (NYSE:LW)

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LW) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders acquired 797 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,072% compared to the average daily volume of 68 put options.

Separately, Bank of America raised Lamb Weston from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lamb Weston currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $81.25.

Shares of NYSE LW opened at $77.99 on Thursday. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $80.38 and a 200 day moving average price of $75.25. The company has a market cap of $11.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.61, a P/E/G ratio of 3.31 and a beta of 0.78. Lamb Weston has a 12-month low of $51.72 and a 12-month high of $86.41. The company has a current ratio of 2.91, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 6.65.

Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $895.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $819.94 million. Lamb Weston had a net margin of 8.33% and a return on equity of 95.26%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.77 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Lamb Weston will post 2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 4th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 7th will be paid a $0.235 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 6th. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.21%. Lamb Weston’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.60%.

In other news, CEO Thomas P. Werner sold 69,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.65, for a total transaction of $5,396,675.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Eryk J. Spytek sold 6,183 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.00, for a total transaction of $463,725.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of Lamb Weston by 184.0% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,691,309 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $133,173,000 after buying an additional 1,095,757 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Lamb Weston in the 4th quarter valued at about $110,222,000. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. lifted its position in shares of Lamb Weston by 13.9% during the fourth quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 1,398,767 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $110,139,000 after purchasing an additional 170,838 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in Lamb Weston by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,389,265 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $109,392,000 after buying an additional 163,571 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA raised its stake in Lamb Weston by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 1,341,292 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $105,613,000 after buying an additional 21,004 shares in the last quarter. 86.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Lamb Weston

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc produces, distributes, and markets value-added frozen potato products worldwide. It operates through four segments: Global, Foodservice, Retail, and Other. The company offers frozen potatoes, sweet potatoes, commercial ingredients, and appetizers under the Lamb Weston brand, as well as various customer labels.

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