Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of GSK Call Options (NYSE:GSK)

GSK plc (NYSE:GSKGet Rating) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 22,528 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 128% compared to the typical daily volume of 9,901 call options.

GSK Price Performance

GSK stock opened at $29.77 on Thursday. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $36.14 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.00. GSK has a 1 year low of $29.73 and a 1 year high of $46.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $60.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.86, a P/E/G ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a current ratio of 1.43.

GSK (NYSE:GSKGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.11. GSK had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 27.84%. The firm had revenue of $8.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.35 billion. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that GSK will post 3.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

GSK Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th will be paid a $0.383 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 18th. This represents a $1.53 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.15%. This is a boost from GSK’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. GSK’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.66%.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On GSK

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GSK. Dodge & Cox lifted its holdings in GSK by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 88,519,444 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $3,903,707,000 after purchasing an additional 501,530 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in GSK by 4.1% in the 1st quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 18,967,209 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $826,212,000 after purchasing an additional 750,042 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in GSK by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,601,698 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $766,202,000 after purchasing an additional 686,260 shares in the last quarter. Black Creek Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in GSK by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Black Creek Investment Management Inc. now owns 10,373,943 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $457,491,000 after purchasing an additional 44,594 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its holdings in GSK by 32.5% in the 1st quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 9,621,370 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $419,107,000 after purchasing an additional 2,362,274 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 16.86% of the company’s stock.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several brokerages recently weighed in on GSK. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of GSK from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, September 15th. AlphaValue cut shares of GSK to a “reduce” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. TheStreet cut shares of GSK from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of GSK in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of GSK from GBX 1,860 ($22.47) to GBX 1,550 ($18.73) in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $1,700.00.

GSK Company Profile

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GSK plc, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the creation, discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines, and health-related consumer products in the United Kingdom, the United States, and internationally. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals R&D, Vaccines, and Consumer Healthcare.

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