Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Covanta (NYSE:CVA)

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Covanta Holding Co. (NYSE:CVA) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock investors purchased 1,478 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,349% compared to the typical volume of 102 call options.

In other Covanta news, insider Paul E. Stauder sold 3,146 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.10, for a total transaction of $34,920.60. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 62,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $694,305. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 11.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Covanta by 12.3% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 10,138 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $79,000 after purchasing an additional 1,107 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Covanta by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 263,827 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $2,530,000 after purchasing an additional 1,217 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in Covanta by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 138,383 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $1,072,000 after purchasing an additional 1,963 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. grew its holdings in Covanta by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 72,515 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $695,000 after buying an additional 2,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Covanta by 16.0% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 19,550 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $187,000 after buying an additional 2,700 shares in the last quarter. 72.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Oppenheimer increased their price objective on shares of Covanta from $12.00 to $13.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 2nd. UBS Group restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Covanta in a research report on Thursday, October 29th. Barclays raised shares of Covanta from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $11.00 to $12.00 in a research report on Monday, November 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded Covanta from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 1st. Finally, Raymond James reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Covanta in a research report on Thursday, December 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $10.93.

Shares of Covanta stock opened at $13.67 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.80 billion, a P/E ratio of -65.09 and a beta of 1.48. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $13.02 and a 200 day simple moving average of $10.17. Covanta has a 12-month low of $6.57 and a 12-month high of $16.13. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.93.

Covanta (NYSE:CVA) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The energy company reported $0.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.07. Covanta had a negative net margin of 1.48% and a negative return on equity of 9.01%. The firm had revenue of $491.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $465.71 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.10 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Covanta will post -0.31 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 31st were given a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 30th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.34%. Covanta’s dividend payout ratio is currently 457.14%.

About Covanta

Covanta Holding Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides waste and energy services to municipal entities primarily in the United States and Canada. It owns and operates infrastructure for the conversion of waste to energy, as well as engages in related waste transport and disposal, and other renewable energy production businesses.

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