Virtu Financial Target of Unusually High Options Trading (VIRT)

Virtu Financial Inc (NASDAQ:VIRT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock traders bought 1,627 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,202% compared to the average daily volume of 125 put options.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Temasek Holdings Private Ltd increased its stake in Virtu Financial by 65.1% during the third quarter. Temasek Holdings Private Ltd now owns 20,330,503 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $329,354,000 after acquiring an additional 8,012,821 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in Virtu Financial by 17.9% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 54,100 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $955,000 after acquiring an additional 8,200 shares during the last quarter. North Island ManageCo LLC acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $733,173,000. Sheets Smith Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Virtu Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $272,000. Finally, Royce & Associates LP increased its stake in Virtu Financial by 3.1% during the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 668,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,826,000 after acquiring an additional 20,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 47.41% of the company’s stock.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) opened at $28.62 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $5,475.89, a price-to-earnings ratio of 51.32 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 0.63 and a quick ratio of 0.63. Virtu Financial has a 12 month low of $13.10 and a 12 month high of $34.00.

Virtu Financial (NASDAQ:VIRT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $460.42 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $194.80 million. Virtu Financial had a return on equity of 12.23% and a net margin of 1.69%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.24 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Virtu Financial will post 1.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.35%. Virtu Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 436.38%.

Virtu Financial announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research firms recently commented on VIRT. Sandler O’Neill upped their target price on Virtu Financial from $19.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Rosenblatt Securities upped their target price on Virtu Financial from $18.00 to $26.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Evercore ISI upped their target price on Virtu Financial from $18.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Goldman Sachs Group upped their target price on Virtu Financial from $17.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Finally, UBS Group set a $31.00 target price on Virtu Financial and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $26.00.

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About Virtu Financial

Virtu Financial, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the financial markets across the world. It is engaged in buying or selling a range of securities and other financial instruments and earning small bid/ask spreads across various transactions.

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