Valvoline Inc. (NYSE:VVV) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Traders purchased 4,012 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,593% compared to the average daily volume of 237 call options.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on VVV shares. Seaport Global Securities downgraded Valvoline from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, January 11th. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell lifted their price target on shares of Valvoline from $28.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Monday, March 22nd. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Valvoline from $28.00 to $32.00 in a research note on Monday, March 22nd. Monness Crespi & Hardt lifted their target price on shares of Valvoline from $26.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Valvoline from $24.00 to $25.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.63.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VVV. Inspire Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Valvoline in the fourth quarter worth $25,000. Asset Dedication LLC increased its position in shares of Valvoline by 330.0% in the 4th quarter. Asset Dedication LLC now owns 1,591 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $37,000 after purchasing an additional 1,221 shares during the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department acquired a new stake in shares of Valvoline in the 3rd quarter valued at about $161,000. Diversified Trust Co bought a new position in shares of Valvoline during the fourth quarter worth about $209,000. Finally, Leavell Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in Valvoline in the fourth quarter worth about $214,000. Institutional investors own 92.26% of the company’s stock.

VVV opened at $26.32 on Thursday. Valvoline has a twelve month low of $12.90 and a twelve month high of $26.94. The firm has a market cap of $4.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.31, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 1.44. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $25.75 and a 200 day simple moving average of $23.13.

Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 3rd. The basic materials company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.36 by $0.05. Valvoline had a net margin of 9.53% and a negative return on equity of 121.96%. The company had revenue of $653.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $629.84 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.35 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Valvoline will post 1.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 26th were issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 25th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. Valvoline’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.97%.

Valvoline Company Profile

Valvoline Inc manufactures, markets, and supplies, engine and automotive maintenance products and services. It operates through three segments: Quick Lubes, Core North America, and International. The company offers lubricants for passenger car, light duty, and heavy duty; antifreeze/coolants for original equipment manufacturers; functional and maintenance chemicals, such as brake fluids and power steering fluids, as well as specialty coatings for automotive and industrial applications comprising rust prevention and sound absorption; and oil and air filters for light-duty vehicles.

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