Traders Buy High Volume of AXA Equitable Call Options (EQH)

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AXA Equitable Holdings Inc (NYSE:EQH) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors purchased 1,430 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,026% compared to the average volume of 127 call options.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on EQH shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AXA Equitable from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of AXA Equitable from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on shares of AXA Equitable in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $20.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.62.

Shares of EQH stock opened at $18.54 on Thursday. AXA Equitable has a 52 week low of $14.72 and a 52 week high of $23.21.

AXA Equitable (NYSE:EQH) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 13th. The company reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.32. The business had revenue of $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.16 billion. Sell-side analysts expect that AXA Equitable will post 3.88 EPS for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Axa sold 60,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.74, for a total transaction of $1,184,400,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of AXA Equitable by 20.0% in the 3rd quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 14,103,921 shares of the company’s stock valued at $302,529,000 after acquiring an additional 2,353,431 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in shares of AXA Equitable by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 12,848,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,608,000 after acquiring an additional 233,204 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of AXA Equitable by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,848,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,608,000 after acquiring an additional 233,204 shares during the period. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of AXA Equitable by 16.4% in the 3rd quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,646,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,923,000 after acquiring an additional 1,356,525 shares during the period. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of AXA Equitable by 10.7% in the 3rd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 9,374,675 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,087,000 after acquiring an additional 907,548 shares during the period. 28.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About AXA Equitable

AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc provides various financial services worldwide. It operates through four segments: Individual Retirement, Group Retirement, Investment Management and Research, and Protection Solutions. The Individual Retirement segment offers a suite of variable annuity products, which are primarily sold to affluent and high net worth individuals.

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