Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Investors bought 1,291 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,555% compared to the typical volume of 78 put options.

In related news, Director Andres Conesa bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $147.26 per share, for a total transaction of $294,520.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 4,749 shares in the company, valued at $699,337.74. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SRE. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP bought a new stake in Sempra Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at $27,000. Garrett Wealth Advisory Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy in the 3rd quarter worth $31,000. Assetmark Inc. raised its position in shares of Sempra Energy by 83.3% in the 2nd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 372 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $51,000 after acquiring an additional 169 shares in the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy in the 2nd quarter worth $59,000. Finally, Nvwm LLC bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy in the 3rd quarter worth $59,000. 88.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE SRE traded up $2.92 on Wednesday, reaching $154.14. 1,018,908 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,170,443. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 0.39. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $149.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $143.72. The company has a market cap of $42.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.67, a PEG ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.41. Sempra Energy has a 12 month low of $111.47 and a 12 month high of $154.47.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.93 billion. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 10.12% and a net margin of 23.55%. Sempra Energy’s revenue was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.23 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Sempra Energy will post 6.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 30th will be given a dividend of $0.9675 per share. This represents a $3.87 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 27th. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 69.48%.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on SRE. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Sempra Energy from $155.00 to $159.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, December 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sempra Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. Argus boosted their price objective on Sempra Energy from $156.00 to $163.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 26th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Sempra Energy from $153.00 to $161.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, September 30th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Sempra Energy from $136.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, October 14th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $154.80.

About Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy, together with its subsidiaries, invests in, develops, and operates energy infrastructure, as well as provides electric and gas services in the United States and internationally. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and supplies natural gas.

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