Lamb Weston Holdings Inc (NYSE:LW) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders bought 2,700 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,665% compared to the typical daily volume of 153 put options.

In related news, Director Peter J. Bensen bought 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 8th. The shares were bought at an average price of $58.18 per share, for a total transaction of $290,900.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 1,935 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $112,578.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LW. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Lamb Weston by 33,787.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,676,101 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $117,856,000 after acquiring an additional 2,668,204 shares during the period. Kensico Capital Management Corp raised its position in Lamb Weston by 56.9% in the third quarter. Kensico Capital Management Corp now owns 3,640,000 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $170,680,000 after acquiring an additional 1,320,000 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. raised its position in Lamb Weston by 1,254.3% in the fourth quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 621,263 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $35,070,000 after acquiring an additional 575,391 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Lamb Weston by 596.0% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 569,300 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $25,072,000 after purchasing an additional 487,500 shares during the period. Finally, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of Lamb Weston by 2,176.4% during the 3rd quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 458,095 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $21,480,000 after purchasing an additional 437,971 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.22% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on LW shares. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Lamb Weston from $52.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. Jefferies Group raised their target price on shares of Lamb Weston to $64.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lamb Weston from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 target price (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Lamb Weston in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Lamb Weston currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.63.

Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) opened at $56.93 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -4.43, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 0.53. Lamb Weston has a 52-week low of $38.58 and a 52-week high of $60.85. The firm has a market cap of $8,238.27, a P/E ratio of 26.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.43.

Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The specialty retailer reported $0.54 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.01. Lamb Weston had a net margin of 9.85% and a negative return on equity of 53.18%. The business had revenue of $824.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $815.29 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.63 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Lamb Weston will post 2.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be given a $0.1913 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 1st. This is an increase from Lamb Weston’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.77 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.34%. Lamb Weston’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.19%.

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Lamb Weston Company Profile

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc (Lamb Weston), is a supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers around the world. The Company’s segments include Global, Foodservice, Retail and Other. The Global segment includes operations associated with Lamb Weston’s business with large chain restaurant customers, whether those results are generated in the United States or abroad, as well as operations associated with retail and foodservice customers located outside of the United States and Canada.

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