Tribune Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (TRCO)

Tribune (NYSE:TRCO) was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 1,006 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,056% compared to the average daily volume of 87 call options.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of TRCO. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its holdings in Tribune by 813.2% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 2,977 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after acquiring an additional 2,651 shares during the last quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc lifted its stake in shares of Tribune by 170.1% during the second quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 3,782 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,000 after purchasing an additional 2,382 shares in the last quarter. NJ State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan acquired a new position in shares of Tribune during the second quarter worth about $230,000. Sei Investments Co. lifted its stake in shares of Tribune by 42.0% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 5,786 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 1,712 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sphinx Trading LP acquired a new position in shares of Tribune during the second quarter worth about $249,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.18% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Stephens downgraded Tribune from an “overweight” rating to an “equal” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $41.00 to $37.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Tribune from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Tribune in a report on Tuesday, July 31st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $40.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Tribune from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reduced their target price on Tribune from $42.00 to $36.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $40.20.

Shares of Tribune stock opened at $38.70 on Friday. Tribune has a twelve month low of $31.61 and a twelve month high of $43.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.75 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 3.24 and a current ratio of 3.24.

Tribune (NYSE:TRCO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 9th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.40. Tribune had a return on equity of 7.18% and a net margin of 28.61%. The firm had revenue of $489.36 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $483.10 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.36 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Tribune will post 3.1 EPS for the current year.

About Tribune

Tribune Media Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States. It offers news, entertainment, and sports programming through Tribune Broadcasting local television stations, including FOX television affiliates, CW Network, LLC television affiliates, CBS television affiliates, ABC television affiliates, MY television affiliates, NBC television affiliates, and independent television stations; and television series and movies on WGN America, a national general entertainment cable network.

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