Webster Financial Target of Unusually High Options Trading (WBS)

Webster Financial Co. (NYSE:WBS) saw unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock traders purchased 2,220 call options on the company. This is an increase of 1,865% compared to the average daily volume of 113 call options.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on WBS. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Webster Financial in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Webster Financial from $55.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 price objective on shares of Webster Financial in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Sandler O’Neill restated a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Webster Financial in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded shares of Webster Financial from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, January 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $59.82.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) traded up $0.47 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $53.60. 565,743 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 560,833. Webster Financial has a 1 year low of $44.04 and a 1 year high of $60.32. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,917.27, a PE ratio of 20.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.15.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.06. Webster Financial had a net margin of 21.77% and a return on equity of 9.91%. The firm had revenue of $270.97 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $269.64 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.60 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Webster Financial will post 3.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 27th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 12th. Webster Financial’s payout ratio is 39.10%.

In related news, Director Mark Pettie sold 3,291 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.34, for a total value of $185,414.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,405 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $924,257.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Joel S. Becker sold 5,064 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.22, for a total transaction of $274,570.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 58,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,160,104.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 11,272 shares of company stock valued at $629,959. 2.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WBS. American Century Companies Inc. purchased a new stake in Webster Financial in the third quarter worth approximately $87,888,000. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in Webster Financial in the second quarter worth approximately $1,387,000. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Webster Financial by 103.0% in the fourth quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 2,411,061 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $135,405,000 after purchasing an additional 1,223,617 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new stake in Webster Financial in the third quarter worth approximately $54,672,000. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. purchased a new stake in Webster Financial in the third quarter worth approximately $29,151,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.75% of the company’s stock.

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Webster Financial Company Profile

Webster Financial Corporation is a bank and financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Commercial Banking, Community Banking, HSA Bank, Private Banking, and Corporate and Reconciling. The Commercial Banking segment includes middle-market, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, equipment finance, and treasury and payment solutions, which includes government and institutional banking.

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