Vector Group Sees Unusually High Options Volume (VGR)

Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) saw some unusual options trading on Thursday. Traders bought 2,723 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,304% compared to the typical volume of 194 put options.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on VGR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Vector Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $11.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Vector Group in a report on Thursday, February 28th.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Vector Group by 7.1% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,182,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,074,000 after acquiring an additional 145,162 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P lifted its stake in Vector Group by 20.7% during the 3rd quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 294,426 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,058,000 after acquiring an additional 50,508 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Vector Group by 6.2% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,945,170 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,584,000 after acquiring an additional 171,074 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Vector Group by 45.3% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 68,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $945,000 after purchasing an additional 21,383 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Vector Group by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 129,889 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,790,000 after purchasing an additional 6,179 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 55.46% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:VGR opened at $9.62 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $1.40 billion, a PE ratio of 16.59 and a beta of 0.71. Vector Group has a 52 week low of $9.21 and a 52 week high of $20.08.

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 28th. The company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $445.94 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $444.60 million. Vector Group had a negative return on equity of 18.85% and a net margin of 3.11%. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Vector Group will post 0.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 28th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 19th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 18th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 16.63%. Vector Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 275.86%.

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Vector Group Company Profile

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Tobacco and Real Estate. The company produces cigarettes in 109 combinations under the Pyramid, EAGLE 20's, Grand Prix, Liggett Select, Eve, and USA brand names, as well as various partner and private label brands.

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