Stock traders buy large volume of Johnson Controls international call options (NYSE:JCI)

Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors bought 19,207 call options on the stock. This represents a 1,963% increase from the average daily volume of 931 call options.

In a similar vein, Vice Chairman John Donofrio sold 31,784 shares in a trade dated Monday, Dec. 13. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.90, for a total transaction of $2,507,757.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available via this hyperlink. Additionally, Vice Chairman Jeffrey M. Williams sold 25,076 shares in a trade dated Friday, Dec. 10. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $1,980,000.96. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. 0.76% of the shares are held by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently changed their holdings in JCI. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in Johnson Controls International by 15.3% during the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 47,001,412 shares of the company worth $3,199,857,000 after acquiring an additional 6,243,817 shares in the last quarter. Amundi acquired a new position in Johnson Controls International during the 2nd quarter for a value of approximately $345,880,000. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in Johnson Controls International by 10.9% during the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 33,597,739 shares of the company worth $2,305,812,000 after purchasing an additional 3,301,697 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership increased its stake in Johnson Controls International by 197.2% during the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 4,645,788 shares of the company worth $318,840,000 after purchasing an additional 3,082,775 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Johnson Controls International by 45.4% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 9,358,727 shares of the company worth $642,290,000 after purchasing an additional 2,921,806 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds hold 88.74% of the company’s shares.

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A number of research analysts have weighed in on JCI shares. Royal Bank of Canada lowered its price target on Johnson Controls International from $76.00 to $75.00 and set an “industry performance” rating for the company in a Monday, Nov. 8 research note. Mizuho began covering Johnson Controls International in a research note on Thursday, December 16. They issued a “buy” rating and a price target of $93.00 for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised its price target on Johnson Controls International from $84.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “holding” rating in a Friday, Dec. 10 research report. Credit Suisse Group raised its price target on Johnson Controls International from $85.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a Monday, November 8 research report. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised its price target on Johnson Controls International from $82.00 to $83.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a Monday, Nov. 8 research report. Four investment analysts gave the stock a hold rating and eleven gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat.com, Johnson Controls International has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $80.29.

NYSE: JCI opened at $80.03 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $56.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.89, a PEG ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 1.09. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $78.23 and a 200-day simple moving average of $74.13. The company has a current ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt ratio of 0.40. Johnson Controls International has a 1-year low of $48.11 and a 1-year high of $81.77.

Johnson Controls International (NYSE:JCI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 5. The company reported EPS of $0.88 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. Johnson Controls International achieved a return on equity of 10.16% and a net margin of 6.92%. The company posted revenue of $6.40 billion for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $6.42 billion. In the same quarter last year, the company achieved EPS of $0.76. The company’s revenue increased 7.4% year over year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect Johnson Controls International to post EPS of 3.29 for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 14. Investors of record on Monday, December 20 will receive a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 17. This represents a dividend of $1.36 on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.70%. This is a positive change from Johnson Controls International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. Johnson Controls International’s payout ratio is currently 59.65%.

About Johnson Controls International

Johnson Controls International Plc is committed to providing building products, energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next-generation transportation systems. Its technology and service capabilities include fire, security, HVAC, power solutions and energy storage to serve various end markets including large institutions, commercial buildings, retail, industrial , small business and residential.

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