Investors Buy High Volume of Call Options on Dillard’s (DDS)

Dillard’s, Inc. (NYSE:DDS) saw unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders acquired 5,938 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 670% compared to the average volume of 771 call options.

In related news, major shareholder David Einhorn sold 35,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $1,808,937.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 23.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Guggenheim Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Dillard’s during the fourth quarter worth $319,000. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Dillard’s during the fourth quarter worth $18,711,000. Hudson Bay Capital Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Dillard’s during the fourth quarter worth $558,000. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Dillard’s by 56.6% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 35,799 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,244,000 after buying an additional 12,932 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Dillard’s by 20.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,124 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 708 shares during the period. 90.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Dillard’s (NYSE DDS) traded up 1.59% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $55.70. 752,053 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $64.30 and a 200-day moving average price of $55.96. Dillard’s has a 52-week low of $45.51 and a 52-week high of $83.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.79 and a beta of 1.12.

Dillard’s (NYSE:DDS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 10th. The company reported ($0.58) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.19 by $0.77. The business had revenue of $1.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. Dillard’s had a net margin of 2.04% and a return on equity of 7.89%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.35 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Dillard’s will post $3.57 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 29th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.72%. This is a boost from Dillard’s’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 28th. Dillard’s’s payout ratio is 7.12%.

A number of research firms have weighed in on DDS. BidaskClub cut shares of Dillard’s from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. ValuEngine cut shares of Dillard’s from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “underweight” rating and set a $36.00 price objective (down from $49.00) on shares of Dillard’s in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their price objective on shares of Dillard’s from $41.00 to $39.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Dillard’s from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Dillard’s currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.00.

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About Dillard’s

Dillard’s, Inc is a retailer of fashion apparel, cosmetics and home furnishing. As of January 28, 2017, the Company operated 293 Dillard’s stores, including 25 clearance centers, and an Internet store offering a selection of merchandise, including fashion apparel for women, men and children, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings and other consumer goods.

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