Investors Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA)

Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors bought 2,250 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 793% compared to the typical daily volume of 252 call options.

Several analysts recently commented on MWA shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mueller Water Products from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 10th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on shares of Mueller Water Products from $15.00 to $16.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 6th. Finally, Oppenheimer lifted their target price on shares of Mueller Water Products from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $15.60.

MWA stock traded down $0.35 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $15.80. 22,543 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 856,200. Mueller Water Products has a 1 year low of $10.13 and a 1 year high of $16.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.30, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.32. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $15.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.76. The company has a current ratio of 3.35, a quick ratio of 2.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65.

Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 4th. The industrial products company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $310.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $268.94 million. Mueller Water Products had a net margin of 7.28% and a return on equity of 14.59%. The firm’s revenue was up 35.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.11 EPS. On average, research analysts anticipate that Mueller Water Products will post 0.62 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 20th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 10th were paid a dividend of $0.055 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 9th. This represents a $0.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.39%. Mueller Water Products’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.31%.

In related news, Director Shirley C. Franklin sold 5,112 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.00, for a total transaction of $76,680.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Marietta Edmunds Zakas sold 25,260 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.66, for a total transaction of $420,831.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 35,484 shares of company stock worth $582,473. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new stake in Mueller Water Products in the 2nd quarter valued at about $27,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd purchased a new position in Mueller Water Products in the first quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise grew its position in Mueller Water Products by 31.8% in the second quarter. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise now owns 3,331 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $48,000 after acquiring an additional 804 shares in the last quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Mueller Water Products during the second quarter worth about $55,000. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Mueller Water Products by 142.5% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,622 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $64,000 after purchasing an additional 2,716 shares in the last quarter. 88.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Mueller Water Products

Mueller Water Products, Inc engages in the manufacture and sale of products used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water. It operates though the following segments: Infrastructure, and Technologies. The Infrastructure segment involves in the manufacture of valves for water and gas systems including butterfly, iron gate, tapping, check, knife, plug and ball valves, and dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants.

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