Washington Prime Group Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (WPG)

Washington Prime Group Inc (NYSE:WPG) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 4,658 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,849% compared to the typical daily volume of 239 put options.

WPG opened at $5.69 on Friday. Washington Prime Group has a one year low of $4.63 and a one year high of $8.44. The company has a market capitalization of $1.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 3.49 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.26, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.65.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Monday, March 4th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 17.57%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 1st. Washington Prime Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.35%.

WPG has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Washington Prime Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 8th. SunTrust Banks cut Washington Prime Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $5.20 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut Washington Prime Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $6.60 to $4.30 in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and one has assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and a consensus target price of $5.17.

In related news, CEO Louis G. Conforti bought 20,747 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 20th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $4.81 per share, for a total transaction of $99,793.07. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 171,958 shares in the company, valued at approximately $827,117.98. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Blucher Sheryl G. Von bought 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 20th. The shares were bought at an average price of $4.84 per share, for a total transaction of $121,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at $121,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have bought 94,947 shares of company stock worth $520,421. Insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Washington Prime Group by 613.4% during the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 34,364 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $250,000 after purchasing an additional 29,547 shares in the last quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Washington Prime Group by 79.6% during the third quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC now owns 18,049 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $132,000 after purchasing an additional 8,000 shares in the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new position in Washington Prime Group during the third quarter worth $9,746,000. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV lifted its stake in Washington Prime Group by 55.6% during the third quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 22,450 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $164,000 after purchasing an additional 8,023 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. lifted its stake in Washington Prime Group by 3.4% during the third quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 953,719 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $6,961,000 after purchasing an additional 31,600 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.41% of the company’s stock.

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Washington Prime Group Company Profile

Washington Prime Group Inc is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with an investment grade balance sheet, leveraging its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S.

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