Stock traders are buying a high volume of put options on Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC)

Ares Capital Co. (NASDAQ:ARCC – Get Rating) was the recipient of an unusually large options trade on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 20,004 put options on the company. This is a 181% increase from the average volume of 7,122 put options.

Analysts set new price targets

Several equity research analysts have recently released reports on the company. StockNews.com picked up coverage from Ares Capital in a Wednesday, October 12 report. They set a “sell” rating for the company. Hovde Group reduced its price target on Ares Capital to $19.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 5. JMP Securities cut its price target on Ares Capital from $24.00 to $22.00 and set a “market outperformance” rating on the stock in a Thursday, July 28 research note. Raymond James cut his price target on Ares Capital from $21.00 to $20.50 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Oppenheimer lowered his price target on Ares Capital to $21.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, July 27 research report. One financial analyst gave the stock a sell rating and eight gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $21.06.

Ares Capital trades up 2.3%

The NASDAQ ARCC rose $0.43 on Wednesday, hitting $19.48. The company had a trading volume of 100,700 shares, against an average volume of 2,830,184. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $18.74 and its 200-day moving average is $19.26 . The stock has a market capitalization of $9.67 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 8.62 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt ratio of 1.26. Ares Capital has a 52-week low of $16.53 and a 52-week high of $23.00.

Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly results on Tuesday, October 25. The investment management firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.01. Ares Capital had a return on equity of 10.15% and a net margin of 54.92%. In the same period a year earlier, the company had earned earnings per share of $0.47. Stock analysts predict that Ares Capital will post 1.94 earnings per share for the current year.

Ares capital increases its dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 29. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15 will receive a dividend of $0.48 per share. This is a boost from Ares Capital’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.92 and a dividend yield of 9.86%. Ares Capital’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.83%.

Insider buying and selling

Separately, CFO Penelope F. Roll purchased 25,000 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Wednesday, August 3. The shares were acquired at an average price of $19.77 per share, for a total transaction of $494,250.00. Following the transaction, the CFO now directly owns 52,000 shares of the company, valued at approximately $1,028,040. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this hyperlink. In other Ares Capital news, Chief Financial Officer Penelope F. Roll acquired 2,500 shares of the company in a transaction on Wednesday, September 14. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $19.04 per share, for a total transaction of $47,600.00. Following the transaction, the CFO now owns 54,500 shares of the company, valued at approximately $1,037,680. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, accessible via this hyperlink. Additionally, Chief Financial Officer Penelope F. Roll acquired 25,000 shares of the company in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3. The shares were acquired at an average price of $19.77 per share, with a total value of $494,250.00. Following completion of the transaction, the CFO now directly owns 52,000 shares of the company, valued at approximately $1,028,040. Disclosure of this purchase can be found here. 0.59% of the shares are held by insiders.

Institutional entries and exits

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their holdings in the company. Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the second quarter worth approximately $27,000. Householder Group Estate & Retirement Specialist LLC acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the third quarter worth approximately $26,000. Financial Management Professionals Inc. increased its position in Ares Capital by 70.7% during the first quarter. Financial Management Professionals Inc. now owns 1,775 shares of the investment management company valued at $37,000 after buying an additional 735 shares in the last quarter. Hardy Reed LLC acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the first quarter worth approximately $42,000. Finally, Larson Financial Group LLC increased its position in Ares Capital by 1,098.9% during the second quarter. Larson Financial Group LLC now owns 2,098 shares of the investment management company valued at $38,000 after buying 1,923 additional shares in the last quarter. 33.79% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ares Capital

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Ares Capital Corporation is a business development firm specializing in the acquisition, recapitalization, mezzanine debt, restructurings, rescue financing and leveraged buyout transactions of middle market companies. He also does growth capital and general refinancing. He prefers to invest in companies active in basic and growth manufacturing, business services, consumer products, healthcare products and services, and information technology services.

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