Investors Purchase High Volume of Put Options on The GEO Group (GEO)

The GEO Group Inc (NYSE:GEO) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors bought 9,377 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 5,797% compared to the average volume of 159 put options.

Shares of GEO stock opened at $19.43 on Friday. The GEO Group has a 52 week low of $18.43 and a 52 week high of $28.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.32.

The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The real estate investment trust reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by ($0.24). The GEO Group had a return on equity of 13.94% and a net margin of 6.22%. The business had revenue of $599.43 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $588.94 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.38 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts anticipate that The GEO Group will post 1.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, February 15th were paid a $0.48 dividend. This is a positive change from The GEO Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 9.88%. The GEO Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 77.73%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new stake in The GEO Group in the fourth quarter worth $79,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in The GEO Group by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 8,455 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 882 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its holdings in The GEO Group by 58.2% in the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 8,861 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $223,000 after purchasing an additional 3,261 shares in the last quarter. Jefferies Group LLC bought a new position in The GEO Group in the third quarter worth $233,000. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in The GEO Group in the fourth quarter worth $188,000. 88.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of The GEO Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of The GEO Group in a research report on Monday. ValuEngine lowered The GEO Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered The GEO Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $27.00 to $26.00 in a research note on Friday, February 15th.

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The GEO Group Company Profile

The GEO Group, Inc (NYSE: GEO) is the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe. GEO is the world's leading provider of diversified correctional, detention, community reentry, and electronic monitoring services to government agencies worldwide with operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

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