International Paper Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NYSE:IP)

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International Paper (NYSE:IP) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 25,910 call options on the company. This is an increase of 1,139% compared to the typical daily volume of 2,091 call options.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. Argus cut International Paper from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 21st. KeyCorp lifted their price objective on International Paper from $31.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, October 30th. Bank of America lifted their price objective on International Paper from $46.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 15th. ValuEngine upgraded International Paper from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded International Paper from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.42.

NYSE IP opened at $47.89 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20. International Paper has a twelve month low of $26.38 and a twelve month high of $50.33. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.83 billion, a PE ratio of 38.31 and a beta of 1.11. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $44.14 and its 200 day moving average is $37.91.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.23. International Paper had a return on equity of 17.27% and a net margin of 2.37%. The business had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.11 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that International Paper will post 2.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 16th will be paid a $0.5125 dividend. This represents a $2.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.28%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 13th. International Paper’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.28%.

In other International Paper news, SVP Gregory T. Wanta sold 7,500 shares of International Paper stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.93, for a total value of $359,475.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.37% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of IP. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in shares of International Paper by 1,555.6% in the second quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 745 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Sandy Spring Bank raised its stake in shares of International Paper by 278.6% in the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 867 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 638 shares during the last quarter. Nachman Norwood & Parrott Inc purchased a new position in shares of International Paper in the third quarter worth $31,000. Howe & Rusling Inc. purchased a new position in shares of International Paper in the second quarter worth $35,000. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc purchased a new position in shares of International Paper in the third quarter worth $39,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.97% of the company’s stock.

About International Paper

International Paper Company operates as a paper and packaging company primarily in United States, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Pacific Rim, Asia, and the Americas. It operates through three segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, and Printing Papers. The Industrial Packaging segment manufactures containerboards, including linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium, and saturating Kraft.

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