Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Kellogg (K)

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Kellogg (NYSE:K) saw some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors acquired 8,493 call options on the company. This is an increase of 1,211% compared to the typical volume of 648 call options.

K has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Buckingham Research upped their price objective on shares of Kellogg from $76.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Kellogg in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $63.00 price objective on shares of Kellogg and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price objective on shares of Kellogg from $66.00 to $62.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, May 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $63.00 price objective on shares of Kellogg and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.39.

In other Kellogg news, major shareholder Kellogg W. K. Foundation Trust sold 160,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.85, for a total value of $11,176,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Vice Chairman Gary H. Pilnick sold 66,655 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.25, for a total transaction of $4,815,823.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 776,655 shares of company stock valued at $53,740,824 over the last three months. 1.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Kellogg by 1.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,146,776 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,794,000 after buying an additional 457,888 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Kellogg by 25.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,324,426 shares of the company’s stock worth $372,017,000 after buying an additional 1,076,748 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in Kellogg by 30.5% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,221,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $274,452,000 after buying an additional 985,494 shares during the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. increased its holdings in Kellogg by 14.2% in the second quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 3,492,041 shares of the company’s stock worth $185,626,000 after buying an additional 434,170 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in Kellogg by 61.8% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,418,179 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,958,000 after buying an additional 923,365 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.95% of the company’s stock.

K stock opened at $71.75 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.57. Kellogg has a one year low of $56.40 and a one year high of $74.32. The stock has a market cap of $24.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.76, a PEG ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.51.

Kellogg (NYSE:K) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $3.36 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.31 billion. Kellogg had a return on equity of 59.68% and a net margin of 13.33%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.97 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Kellogg will post 4.51 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 4th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. This is an increase from Kellogg’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 31st. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.12%. Kellogg’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.47%.

Kellogg Company Profile

Kellogg Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. The company operates through U.S. Morning Foods, U.S. Snacks, U.S. Specialty, North America Other, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific segments. Its principal products include cookies, crackers, savory snacks, toaster pastries, cereal bars, granola bars and bites, fruit-flavored snacks, ready-to-eat cereals, frozen waffles, and veggie foods.

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