Traders Purchase High Volume of Call Options on Linde (LIN)

Linde PLC (NYSE:LIN) saw unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 2,498 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,750% compared to the average volume of 135 call options.

Several brokerages recently commented on LIN. DZ Bank raised shares of Linde to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Linde from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Linde from $180.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Linde from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $210.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, May 13th. Finally, Societe Generale reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Linde in a report on Monday, April 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $193.73.

NYSE LIN opened at $189.00 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $98.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.77. Linde has a 12-month low of $145.95 and a 12-month high of $189.45.

Linde (NYSE:LIN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 10th. The basic materials company reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $6.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.03 billion. Linde had a net margin of 23.52% and a return on equity of 14.95%. On average, research analysts forecast that Linde will post 6.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.875 dividend. This represents a $3.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st.

In related news, insider Anne K. Roby sold 3,159 shares of Linde stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $176.77, for a total transaction of $558,416.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Christian Bruch bought 1,474 shares of Linde stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $179.21 per share, with a total value of $264,155.54. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 65,926 shares of company stock worth $12,140,692 over the last 90 days. 0.23% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Linde by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,573,871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,554,790,000 after purchasing an additional 636,524 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Linde in the 4th quarter valued at about $2,624,717,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA bought a new stake in Linde in the 4th quarter valued at about $2,336,558,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp bought a new stake in Linde in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,604,835,000. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new stake in shares of Linde during the 4th quarter worth approximately $60,000. 74.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Linde Company Profile

Linde plc operates as an industrial gas company in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company offers oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene. It also designs and constructs turnkey process plants, such as olefin, natural gas, air separation, and hydrogen and synthesis gas plants.

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