Investors Purchase High Volume of Global Payments Call Options (GPN)

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 2,569 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 2,023% compared to the average volume of 121 call options.

Several research firms recently weighed in on GPN. Zacks Investment Research lowered Global Payments from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Global Payments to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Piper Jaffray raised Global Payments from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. KeyCorp reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $125.00 price target (up from $120.00) on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and set a $127.00 price target on shares of Global Payments in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Global Payments has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $110.08.

GPN opened at $112.34 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $17,920.22, a PE ratio of 28.01, a P/E/G ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.11. Global Payments has a 52-week low of $78.81 and a 52-week high of $118.94. The company has a quick ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15.

Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The business services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.05 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $943.39 million. Global Payments had a return on equity of 17.94% and a net margin of 11.78%. The firm’s revenue was up 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.89 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Global Payments will post 4.85 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 16th were paid a dividend of $0.01 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 15th. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.04%. Global Payments’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 1.00%.

Global Payments announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $600.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the business services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Alan M. Silberstein sold 5,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.20, for a total transaction of $626,460.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 46,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,495,945.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director William I. Jacobs sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total value of $66,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 35,875 shares in the company, valued at $3,946,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,600 shares of company stock worth $1,592,435 over the last three months. 0.98% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPN. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments during the 4th quarter worth about $120,000. SWS Partners acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments during the 4th quarter worth about $163,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in shares of Global Payments by 2,412.1% during the 4th quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,658 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $166,000 after purchasing an additional 1,592 shares during the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments during the 4th quarter worth about $204,000. Finally, Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Global Payments during the 4th quarter worth about $251,000. Institutional investors own 96.75% of the company’s stock.

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Global Payments Company Profile

Global Payments Inc provides payment technology and software solutions for credit cards, debit cards, electronic payments, and check-related services. It offers authorization services, settlement and funding services, customer support and help-desk functions, chargeback resolution, terminal rental, sales and deployment, payment security services, consolidated billing and statements, online reporting, industry compliance, and payment card industry security services.

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