Freshpet Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (FRPT)

Freshpet Inc (NASDAQ:FRPT) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors bought 536 call options on the company. This is an increase of 688% compared to the typical volume of 68 call options.

NASDAQ FRPT traded up $0.17 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $43.13. 170,830 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 263,751. Freshpet has a 1-year low of $18.50 and a 1-year high of $44.04. The firm has a market cap of $1.52 billion, a P/E ratio of -287.53 and a beta of 1.35.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 26th. The company reported $0.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by ($0.05). Freshpet had a negative return on equity of 4.60% and a negative net margin of 2.77%. The firm had revenue of $51.64 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $50.22 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.04 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 29.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Freshpet will post 0.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Stephen Macchiaverna sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total value of $1,000,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 90,860 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,634,400. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Associates Spc Midocean sold 4,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.57, for a total transaction of $154,280,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 4,075,000 shares of company stock valued at $157,280,000 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can acquired a new stake in Freshpet during the fourth quarter worth approximately $58,000. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new position in Freshpet during the fourth quarter worth approximately $103,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its stake in Freshpet by 132.7% during the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after purchasing an additional 2,654 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Freshpet by 28.2% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 1,146 shares during the period. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in Freshpet during the third quarter worth approximately $206,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.72% of the company’s stock.

FRPT has been the subject of several analyst reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Freshpet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $36.00 price target on shares of Freshpet and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Freshpet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. TheStreet upgraded shares of Freshpet from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Imperial Capital restated an “in-line” rating and set a $40.00 target price (up from $35.00) on shares of Freshpet in a research report on Monday, March 4th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $34.86.

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Freshpet Company Profile

Freshpet, Inc manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online.

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