Stock traders buy high volume of put options on Harsco (NYSE:HSC)

Harsco Co. (NYSE:HSC – Get Rating) saw unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors purchased 3,528 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 7,100% over the typical daily volume of 49 put options.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their stock holdings. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Harsco in Q3, valued at around $26,000. The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in Harsco by 16.5% in the fourth quarter. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System now owns 6,705 shares of the industrial products company valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 949 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp bought a new stake in Harsco in Q4, valued at around $172,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC acquired a new position in Harsco in Q4 valued at approximately $173,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in Harsco by 22.6% in the 3rd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 12,721 shares of the industrial products company valued at $216,000 after acquiring 2,343 additional shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 94.80% of the company’s shares.

NYSE HSC opened at $11.63 on Friday. Harsco has a 52-week low of $10.42 and a 52-week high of $23.73. The company has a quick ratio of 1.25, a current ratio of 1.53 and a debt ratio of 1.77. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $16.14 and its 200-day simple moving average is $16.51. The company has a market capitalization of $921.14 million, a PE ratio of 64.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 1.94.

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Harsco (NYSE:HSC – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, February 24. The industrial products company reported EPS of $0.22 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.15. Harsco had a return on equity of 8.10% and a net margin of 0.69%. The company posted revenue of $462.00 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $446.18 million. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $0.12. The company’s quarterly revenue increased by 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect Harsco to post 0.52 EPS for the current year.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on HSC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Harsco from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a Monday, Jan. 31, report. Barrington Research cut its price target on Harsco from $26.00 to $22.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. Finally, Argus downgraded Harsco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a Monday, Nov. 8, report.

Harsco Company Profile (Get a rating)

Harsco Corp. engages in the provision of industrial services and engineering products. It operates through the following business segments: Harsco Environmental, Harsco Clean Earth and Harsco Rail. Harsco Environmental provides environmental and materials handling services to the global steel and metals industries.

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