Stock traders buy high volume of Upstart call options (NASDAQ:UPST)

Upstart Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:UPST – Get Rating) was the target of unusually heavy options trading activity on Friday. Traders acquired 105,949 call options on the company. This is a 17% increase from the average daily volume of 90,182 call options.

Starting price performance

The NASDAQ UPST traded at $3.04 during Friday trading hours, hitting $34.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 252,065 shares, compared to an average volume of 9,438,758. The company has a fifty-day simple moving average of $32.05 and a 200-day simple moving average of 72 .10$. Upstart has a 52-week low of $22.42 and a 52-week high of $401.49. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.25 and a beta of 1.13.

Upstart (NASDAQ:UPST – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Monday, August 8. The company reported earnings per share of $0.01 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.06. Upstart had a return on equity of 11.50% and a net margin of 8.48%. The company posted revenue of $228.00 million in the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $235.30 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $0.39. The company’s quarterly revenue increased 17.6% year over year. On average, research analysts expect Upstart to post -0.25 earnings per share for the current year.

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UPST has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Atlantic Securities downgraded Upstart from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and cut its target price for the stock from $32.00 to $22.00 in a report released Thursday. Wedbush lowered its price target on Upstart shares from $70.00 to $35.00 in a Tuesday, May 10 research note. JMP Securities upgraded Upstart from an “outperforming” rating to a “market performing” rating in a Friday, July 8 research report. Bank of America lowered its target price on Upstart from $41.00 to $34.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a Friday, July 8 research note. Finally, Stephens lowered his price target on Upstart from $28.00 to $23.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Five investment analysts gave the stock a sell rating, six gave the company a hold rating and two gave the company a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, Upstart currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $87.46.

Insider buying and selling

Separately, General Counsel Alison Nicoll sold 7,500 shares of the company in a trade on Wednesday, May 25. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.32, for a total value of $302,400.00. Following the transaction, the General Counsel now directly owns 412,983 shares of the company, valued at approximately $16,651,474.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via the SEC’s website. Insiders sold a total of 30,883 shares of the company valued at $1,306,959 in the past ninety days. Insiders hold 18.87% of the shares of the company.

Institutional investors weigh in on Upstart

Hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurcher Kantonalbank increased its stake in Upstart shares by 47.3% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,795 shares of the company valued at $423,000 after purchasing an additional 898 shares during the period. The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in Upstart stock during the fourth quarter worth approximately $910,000. Fifth Third Bancorp increased its holdings of Upstart shares by 166.7% in the fourth quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 800 shares of the company worth $121,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. increased its position in Upstart by 53.3% in the fourth quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 1,653 shares of the company valued at $250,000 after purchasing an additional 575 shares during the period. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Upstart during Q4 for $7,080,000. 59.65% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.

About Upstart

(Get a rating)

Upstart Holdings, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform in the United States. Its platform aggregates consumer demand for loans and connects it to its network of business AI-enabled banking partners. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California.

Further reading

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