Investors Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL)

Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 8,004 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,216% compared to the typical volume of 608 call options.

Shares of NYSE:NBL opened at $19.16 on Friday. Noble Energy has a 52 week low of $18.90 and a 52 week high of $28.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.55. The company has a market capitalization of $9.42 billion, a PE ratio of 21.29 and a beta of 1.43. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $22.03 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $21.80.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 12th. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.05) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.10 billion. Noble Energy had a negative net margin of 25.33% and a negative return on equity of 0.82%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.12 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Noble Energy will post -0.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 24th. Investors of record on Monday, February 10th will be given a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 7th. Noble Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.33%.

NBL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on shares of Noble Energy from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 17th. Scotiabank began coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Thursday, January 23rd. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $27.00 price target for the company. MKM Partners decreased their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $28.00 to $26.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. TD Securities lowered their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $30.00 to $26.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares initiated coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. They set a “positive” rating and a $27.00 target price on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.25.

In other news, Director Scott D. Urban acquired 15,000 shares of Noble Energy stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $20.38 per share, with a total value of $305,700.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 48,118 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $980,644.84. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas J. Edelman sold 200,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.98, for a total transaction of $4,796,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,368,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $80,771,450.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.81% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Noble Energy by 208.0% in the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,189 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 803 shares during the period. Calamos Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Noble Energy during the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV bought a new stake in Noble Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $30,000. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in Noble Energy during the 4th quarter worth approximately $35,000. Finally, Bridger Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Noble Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $38,000. 98.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. The company owns, operates, develops, and acquires domestic midstream infrastructure assets in the DJ and Delaware Basins.

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