Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Sempra Energy Put Options (NYSE:SRE)


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Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 1,410 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 787% compared to the typical daily volume of 159 put options.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Allworth Financial LP lifted its position in shares of Sempra Energy by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 1,831 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $233,000 after purchasing an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Community Bank N.A. boosted its holdings in shares of Sempra Energy by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Community Bank N.A. now owns 5,556 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $708,000 after purchasing an additional 106 shares during the period. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC raised its position in Sempra Energy by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC now owns 4,670 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $595,000 after purchasing an additional 106 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Sempra Energy by 4.6% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,471 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after purchasing an additional 108 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Platform Technology Partners lifted its position in shares of Sempra Energy by 3.8% in the 3rd quarter. Platform Technology Partners now owns 3,016 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $357,000 after purchasing an additional 110 shares during the period. 83.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Sempra Energy stock opened at $133.52 on Thursday. Sempra Energy has a twelve month low of $112.16 and a twelve month high of $137.47. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $126.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $126.10. The firm has a market cap of $40.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.35, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.60.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.90 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.55 by $0.35. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.95 billion. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 34.85%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.55 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Sempra Energy will post 7.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 25th will be given a $1.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 24th. This represents a $4.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.30%. This is a positive change from Sempra Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.05. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.90%.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. KeyCorp decreased their target price on shares of Sempra Energy from $143.00 to $141.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 12th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Sempra Energy from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $141.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 14th. Seaport Global Securities cut Sempra Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Sempra Energy from $144.00 to $142.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, March 25th. Finally, Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Sempra Energy from $119.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $144.00.

Sempra Energy Company Profile

Sempra Energy operates as an energy-services holding company in the United States and internationally. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and supplies natural gas. It offers electric services to approximately 3.7 million population and natural gas services to approximately 3.4 million population that covers 4,100 square miles.

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