Sempra Energy Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:SRE)

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Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 1,410 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 787% compared to the typical daily volume of 159 put options.

Shares of SRE stock opened at $133.52 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $126.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $126.10. Sempra Energy has a 12-month low of $112.16 and a 12-month high of $137.47. The company has a market capitalization of $40.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.35, a P/E/G ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.35. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 34.85%. The firm had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.95 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.55 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Sempra Energy will post 7.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 25th will be issued a dividend of $1.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 24th. This is an increase from Sempra Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.05. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.30%. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.90%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Barclays reduced their price objective on Sempra Energy from $159.00 to $149.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Mizuho upped their price target on shares of Sempra Energy from $119.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Sempra Energy from $144.00 to $142.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, March 25th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Sempra Energy from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $141.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 14th. Finally, KeyCorp reduced their price target on shares of Sempra Energy from $143.00 to $141.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 12th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $144.00.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of SRE. Dimension Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Sempra Energy during the third quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Regent Peak Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy in the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Clearview Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Sempra Energy during the fourth quarter worth approximately $29,000. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new position in Sempra Energy in the 4th quarter valued at $30,000. Finally, Vantage Consulting Group Inc acquired a new position in shares of Sempra Energy during the 4th quarter worth approximately $40,000. 83.76% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Sempra Energy Company Profile

Sempra Energy operates as an energy-services holding company in the United States and internationally. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and supplies natural gas. It offers electric services to approximately 3.7 million population and natural gas services to approximately 3.4 million population that covers 4,100 square miles.

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