Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA)

Voya Financial Inc (NYSE:VOYA) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 2,234 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 2,560% compared to the typical daily volume of 84 call options.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the company. TheStreet upgraded Voya Financial from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $66.00 target price (up from $59.00) on shares of Voya Financial in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Voya Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Voya Financial from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $60.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on Voya Financial from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $57.29.

In related news, Director Joseph V. Tripodi acquired 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $49.45 per share, with a total value of $74,175.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 3,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $173,075. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Chetlur S. Ragavan sold 1,853 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.98, for a total value of $92,612.94. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 37,452 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,871,850.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 50,049 shares of company stock worth $2,534,263. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Voya Financial by 25.8% during the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,715,088 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $184,528,000 after purchasing an additional 762,178 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Voya Financial by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 2,357,393 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $94,628,000 after acquiring an additional 180,667 shares in the last quarter. Scout Investments Inc. lifted its position in shares of Voya Financial by 94.9% in the first quarter. Scout Investments Inc. now owns 2,336,388 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $116,726,000 after acquiring an additional 1,137,895 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Voya Financial by 24.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,090,289 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $83,902,000 after acquiring an additional 409,431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of Voya Financial by 50.3% in the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,862,112 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $92,491,000 after acquiring an additional 622,863 shares in the last quarter.

Shares of VOYA traded up $0.04 on Friday, reaching $54.66. The stock had a trading volume of 1,054,895 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,381,431. Voya Financial has a 12-month low of $36.66 and a 12-month high of $55.61. The company has a quick ratio of 0.17, a current ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The stock has a market cap of $8.09 billion, a PE ratio of 13.53 and a beta of 1.46.

Voya Financial (NYSE:VOYA) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The asset manager reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.10. Voya Financial had a return on equity of 8.04% and a net margin of 10.28%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.87 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Voya Financial will post 5.55 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th were issued a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.07%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 27th. Voya Financial’s payout ratio is 0.99%.

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About Voya Financial

Voya Financial, Inc operates as a retirement, investment, and employee benefits company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Retirement, Investment Management, Employee Benefits, and Individual Life. The Retirement segment offers tax-deferred employer-sponsored retirement savings plans and administrative services; and individual retirement accounts, and other retail financial products and financial services, as well as financial planning and advisory services.

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