Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Put Options on Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK)

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Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders purchased 8,035 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,874% compared to the typical daily volume of 407 put options.

UPWK has been the topic of several analyst reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Upwork from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 2nd. BTIG Research increased their price target on Upwork from $19.00 to $27.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Stifel Nicolaus raised Upwork from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $17.00 to $31.00 in a research note on Thursday. JMP Securities upped their price objective on Upwork from $20.00 to $28.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, MKM Partners raised their target price on Upwork from $20.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Upwork presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $20.13.

In other Upwork news, Director Gregory C. Gretsch bought 221,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 10th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $14.95 per share, for a total transaction of $3,317,405.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Eric Gilpin sold 2,981 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.03, for a total transaction of $44,804.43. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 9,341 shares in the company, valued at $140,395.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 38,607 shares of company stock worth $591,851. Company insiders own 25.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Upwork by 3.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,189,767 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,820,000 after buying an additional 252,000 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Upwork by 2.3% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,095,217 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,302,000 after acquiring an additional 135,541 shares during the period. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS raised its holdings in shares of Upwork by 177.5% during the third quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS now owns 1,478,615 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,787,000 after acquiring an additional 945,735 shares during the period. Federated Hermes Inc. lifted its position in Upwork by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 1,253,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,101,000 after acquiring an additional 70,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Driehaus Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Upwork in the 2nd quarter worth $17,732,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.16% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Upwork stock opened at $29.26 on Friday. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $18.78 and its 200 day simple moving average is $14.55. The company has a current ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 1.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03. The company has a market capitalization of $3.52 billion, a PE ratio of -112.54 and a beta of 1.56. Upwork has a 12 month low of $5.14 and a 12 month high of $30.95.

Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 4th. The company reported ($0.02) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.08) by $0.06. The company had revenue of $88.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $90.44 million. Upwork had a negative return on equity of 11.18% and a negative net margin of 8.91%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.02 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Upwork will post -0.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Upwork

Upwork Inc operates an online talent marketplace that enables businesses (clients) to find and work with various independent professionals and agencies (freelancers) in the United States, India, the Philippines, and internationally. The company’s platform provides access to talent with approximately 8,000 skills across approximately 70 categories, including content marketing, customer service, data science and analytics, graphic design, mobile development, sales, and web development.

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