Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of Graphic Packaging Call Options (NYSE:GPK)

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Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 4,333 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 6,889% compared to the typical volume of 62 call options.

GPK opened at $16.69 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $16.15 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.55. Graphic Packaging has a twelve month low of $10.13 and a twelve month high of $16.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.97, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.37.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The industrial products company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.01. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 3.60% and a return on equity of 12.72%. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.57 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.22 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Graphic Packaging will post 0.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, January 5th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.075 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Graphic Packaging’s payout ratio is 37.04%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Graphic Packaging during the second quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. grew its position in Graphic Packaging by 65.9% during the second quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 3,006,131 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $42,026,000 after buying an additional 1,193,788 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Graphic Packaging by 2.2% during the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 402,882 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $5,632,000 after buying an additional 8,586 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in Graphic Packaging by 8.3% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 568,417 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $8,384,000 after buying an additional 43,724 shares during the period. Finally, Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS bought a new stake in Graphic Packaging during the third quarter valued at approximately $301,000.

Several brokerages have issued reports on GPK. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Graphic Packaging in a report on Wednesday. ValuEngine raised shares of Graphic Packaging from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 4th. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Graphic Packaging from $15.00 to $17.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Graphic Packaging from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 15th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Graphic Packaging in a report on Thursday, September 26th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $16.00.

About Graphic Packaging

Graphic Packaging Holding Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides paper-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies. It operates through three segments: Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, and Europe Paperboard Packaging. The company offers coated unbleached kraft (CUK), coated recycled paperboard (CRB), and solid bleached sulfate paperboard (SBS) to various paperboard packaging converters and brokers; and paperboard packaging folding cartons and cups, lids, and food containers primarily to consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants, and foodservice companies.

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