Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Put Options on NetScout Systems (NTCT)

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NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTCT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 7,863 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 3,912% compared to the average volume of 196 put options.

Shares of NTCT opened at $24.73 on Friday. NetScout Systems has a 52 week low of $21.58 and a 52 week high of $31.77. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.98, a P/E/G ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a current ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29.

NetScout Systems (NASDAQ:NTCT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The technology company reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.21. NetScout Systems had a net margin of 1.88% and a return on equity of 3.29%. The business had revenue of $224.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $218.30 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.29 EPS. NetScout Systems’s quarterly revenue was down 12.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that NetScout Systems will post 0.85 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, COO Michael Szabados sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.80, for a total transaction of $166,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 44,080 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,225,424. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider John Downing sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.87, for a total transaction of $83,610.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 96,925 shares in the company, valued at $2,701,299.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 12,500 shares of company stock worth $341,375 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 3.93% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First Mercantile Trust Co. grew its stake in NetScout Systems by 38.5% in the 3rd quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 7,660 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 2,130 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its holdings in NetScout Systems by 18.8% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 22,897 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $680,000 after purchasing an additional 3,623 shares during the period. Teton Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in NetScout Systems by 7.1% in the 3rd quarter. Teton Advisors Inc. now owns 55,550 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 3,700 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in NetScout Systems by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 362,300 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $9,147,000 after purchasing an additional 3,809 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its holdings in NetScout Systems by 4.9% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 92,707 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,341,000 after purchasing an additional 4,347 shares during the period.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on NTCT. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of NetScout Systems from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of NetScout Systems from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Craig Hallum set a $25.00 price objective on shares of NetScout Systems and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Lake Street Capital set a $33.00 price objective on shares of NetScout Systems and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 26th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of NetScout Systems from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.50.

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NetScout Systems Company Profile

NetScout Systems, Inc provides real-time operational intelligence and performance analytics for digital business services against disruptions in availability, performance, and security in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. The company offers nGeniusONE management software that enables customers to predict, preempt, and resolve network and service delivery problems, as well as facilitate the optimization and capacity planning of their network infrastructures; and specialized platforms and analytic modules that enable its customers to analyze and troubleshoot traffic in radio access and Wi-Fi networks.

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