Stewart Information Services Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:STC)

Stewart Information Services Corp (NYSE:STC) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders purchased 1,680 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,853% compared to the average volume of 86 put options.

STC traded down $0.43 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $35.02. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 403,619 shares, compared to its average volume of 159,352. The stock has a market cap of $840.76 million, a P/E ratio of 16.21 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $36.11 and a 200 day simple moving average of $40.57. The company has a current ratio of 3.75, a quick ratio of 3.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. Stewart Information Services has a twelve month low of $32.61 and a twelve month high of $45.75.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by ($0.08). The business had revenue of $472.08 million during the quarter. Stewart Information Services had a net margin of 2.24% and a return on equity of 6.87%. Sell-side analysts expect that Stewart Information Services will post 2.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.43%. Stewart Information Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 55.56%.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered Stewart Information Services from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.33.

In other Stewart Information Services news, Director James M. Chadwick sold 4,906 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.27, for a total value of $173,034.62. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $60,170.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,491,029 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $141,353,000 after acquiring an additional 19,947 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,043,134 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $42,236,000 after acquiring an additional 48,285 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 17.8% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 659,672 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $26,710,000 after acquiring an additional 99,746 shares during the period. CNH Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 25.3% in the 1st quarter. CNH Partners LLC now owns 551,658 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $23,550,000 after acquiring an additional 111,534 shares during the period. Finally, Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC lifted its position in shares of Stewart Information Services by 8.2% in the 1st quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC now owns 412,425 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $17,607,000 after acquiring an additional 31,138 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.38% of the company’s stock.

About Stewart Information Services

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property.

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