Legg Mason Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (LM)

Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors acquired 1,105 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,549% compared to the average daily volume of 67 call options.

LM has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Legg Mason from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Legg Mason in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. They set a “buy” rating and a $44.00 target price for the company. Royal Bank of Canada set a $47.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Legg Mason from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Legg Mason currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.90.

Shares of Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) opened at $43.74 on Friday. Legg Mason has a fifty-two week low of $30.81 and a fifty-two week high of $43.76. The company has a current ratio of 2.51, a quick ratio of 1.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The company has a market cap of $4,020.00, a P/E ratio of 17.09, a PEG ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 2.27.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The asset manager reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.10. Legg Mason had a net margin of 8.46% and a return on equity of 7.16%. The firm had revenue of $768.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $739.47 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Legg Mason will post 2.94 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 19th. Legg Mason’s payout ratio is 43.75%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LM. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in shares of Legg Mason by 10.1% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,193 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 294 shares during the last quarter. QCM Cayman Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $212,000. Institute for Wealth Management LLC. purchased a new stake in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Legg Mason during the third quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.49% of the company’s stock.

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Legg Mason Company Profile

Legg Mason, Inc is a holding company. The Company and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in providing asset management and related financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations and municipalities. The Company operates through Global Asset Management segment. Global Asset Management provides investment advisory services to institutional and individual clients and to the Company-sponsored investment funds.

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