Investors buy large volume of put options on LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE)

LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Equity investors bought 2,480 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 904% from the average daily volume of 247 puts.

NASDAQ:TREE shares were up $0.48 in Friday’s midday session, hitting $114.82. The company’s shares had a trading volume of 240,427 shares, compared to an average volume of 208,865. The company has a market capitalization of $1.53 billion, a PE ratio of 130.23 and a beta of 1, 52. LendingTree has a 12-month low of $105.00 and a 12-month high of $372.64. The stock has a fifty-day moving average of $122.88 and a 200-day moving average of $148.38. The company has a quick ratio of 1.32, a current ratio of 1.32 and a debt ratio of 1.09.

LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, October 28. The financial services provider reported EPS of $0.75 for the quarter, beating Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.56 ($0.56) by $1.31. The company posted revenue of $297.40 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $292.57 million. LendingTree had a net margin of 1.22% and a negative return on equity of 0.62%. The company’s revenue increased 35.0% year over year. In the same quarter last year, the company made ($1.33) earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect LendingTree to post earnings per share of -3.27 for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Insider Neil Salvage sold 4,153 shares of the company in a trade on Tuesday, November 2. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.00, for a total transaction of $614,644.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this hyperlink. Insiders hold 16.70% of the shares of the company.

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Hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their holdings in the stock. The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in LendingTree by 2.5% during the third quarter. The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,832 shares of the financial services provider valued at $536,000 after buying 92 more shares last quarter. The Alaska State Department of Revenue increased its holdings in LendingTree by 5.7% during the third quarter. The Alaska State Department of Revenue now owns 1,802 shares of the financial services provider valued at $251,000 after buying 97 more shares last quarter. The Michigan State Retirement System increased its holdings in LendingTree by 3.6% during the third quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 2,868 shares of the financial services provider valued at $401,000 after buying 100 additional shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its stake in LendingTree shares by 2.8% in the third quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 3,783 shares of the financial services provider worth $529,000 after buying 103 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Holdings Inc. increased its stake in LendingTree shares by 6.9% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 1,819 shares of the financial services provider worth $253,000 after buying 117 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 86.39% of the company’s shares.

Several brokerages have commented on TREE. Zacks Investment Research cut LendingTree shares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a price target of $123.00 for the stock. in a research note from Wednesday, December 1. Truist Financial cut its price target on LendingTree shares from $275.00 to $250.00 in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Oppenheimer cut his price target on LendingTree shares from $275.00 to $240.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a Friday, October 29 report. One equity research analyst rated the stock with a sell rating and six gave the company a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, LendingTree has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $250.43.

LendingTree Company Profile

LendingTree, Inc engages in the operation of an online lending marketplace for consumers seeking loans and other credit-based offerings. It operates through the following segments: Housing, Consumer Goods and Insurance. The Home segment includes mortgage purchase, mortgage refinance, home equity loans and lines of credit and reverse mortgages and real estate.

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