Stock traders buy large volume of put options on Unum Group (NYSE: UNM)

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM) was the target of unusual options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders acquired 8,097 puts on the company. This represents a 524% increase over the average volume of 1,298 puts.

UNM traded up $ 0.05 in Friday’s session, reaching $ 24.71. 16,055 shares of the company were traded, for an average volume of 2,468,588. Unum Group has a one-year low at $ 21.87 and a one-year high at $ 31.98. The company has a debt to equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.28, and a rapid ratio of 0.28. The stock has a market cap of $ 5.05 billion, a price / earnings ratio of 6.32, a price / earnings-growth ratio of 0.69, and a beta of 1.67. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $ 25.07 and its 200-day simple moving average is $ 26.38.

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM) last released its quarterly results on Tuesday, November 2. The financial services provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $ 1.03 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $ 1.16 per ($ 0.13). Unum Group recorded a return on equity of 8.68% and a net margin of 6.01%. The company posted revenue of $ 2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to $ 2.96 billion expected by analysts. During the same period of the previous year, the company posted earnings per share of $ 1.21. Stock analysts predict that Unum Group will post an EPS of 4.35 for the current year.

Unum Group said its board of directors authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, October 25 that allows the company to repurchase $ 250.00 million of shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy back up to 4.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the board of directors of the company considers its shares to be undervalued.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 19. Shareholders of record on Friday October 29 received a dividend of $ 0.30 per share. This represents a dividend of $ 1.20 on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 28. The Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 30.77%.

UNM has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Barclays raised its price target on Unum Group shares from $ 24.00 to $ 28.00 and assigned the company an “underweight” rating in a report released on Tuesday, October 26. The Goldman Sachs group assumed the coverage of Unum Group shares in a research note on Thursday, December 2. They issued a “buy” note and a target price of $ 32.00 for the company. One analyst assigned a sell rating to the stock, five assigned a conservation rating, and another assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Unum Group currently has an average “Hold” rating and a consensus price target of $ 28.88.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of UNM. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Unum Group shares by 8.7% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,886,476 shares of the financial services provider valued at $ 110,376,000 after acquiring an additional 312,667 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its stake in Unum Group shares by 6.3% in the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 23,241 shares of the financial services provider valued at $ 587,000 after acquiring an additional 1,383 shares in the last quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. increased its stake in Unum Group shares by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Donald Smith & CO. Inc. now owns 5,208,184 shares of the financial services provider valued at $ 147,912,000 after acquiring an additional 22,880 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Unum Group shares by 17.6% during the 3rd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 58,496 shares of the financial services provider valued at $ 1,466,000 after acquiring an additional 8,740 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Greenleaf Trust increased its stake in Unum Group shares by 0.7% during the second quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 62,410 shares of the financial services provider valued at $ 1,772,000 after acquiring 455 additional shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 83.03% of the company’s shares.

About the Unum group

Unum Group undertakes to provide financial protection services. It operates through the following segments: Unum US, Unum International, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate. The Unum segment in the United States includes group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life and accidental death and dismemberment products, as well as complementary and optional lines of business.

Further reading: price / earnings ratio (PE)

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