Fortive Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (FTV)

Fortive Corp (NYSE:FTV) was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 1,015 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,620% compared to the average volume of 59 call options.

FTV has been the topic of several research reports. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $78.00 target price (down previously from $86.00) on shares of Fortive in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. SunTrust Banks decreased their target price on Fortive from $92.00 to $85.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised Fortive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 1st. Morgan Stanley raised Fortive from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $84.00 to $82.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, Argus increased their target price on Fortive to $94.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Fortive currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.82.

In other news, VP Emily A. Weaver sold 9,271 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.41, for a total value of $699,126.11. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 9,279 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $699,729.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider James A. Lico sold 123,298 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.41, for a total value of $9,297,902.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 357,460 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,956,058.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 142,382 shares of company stock worth $10,729,598. Corporate insiders own 12.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FTV. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Fortive by 104.6% in the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 309 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 158 shares during the last quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Fortive in the 3rd quarter valued at about $108,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new position in shares of Fortive in the 3rd quarter valued at about $127,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Fortive in the 2nd quarter valued at about $132,000. Finally, Virginia National Bank purchased a new position in shares of Fortive in the 3rd quarter valued at about $202,000. 81.30% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

FTV stock opened at $69.88 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.18, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.07. Fortive has a 1 year low of $62.89 and a 1 year high of $88.34.

Fortive (NYSE:FTV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The technology company reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.88 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $1.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. Fortive had a net margin of 15.72% and a return on equity of 24.91%. Equities analysts forecast that Fortive will post 3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 30th were given a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.40%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 29th. Fortive’s dividend payout ratio is currently 9.69%.

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About Fortive

Fortive Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and services professional and engineered products, software, and services worldwide. Its Professional Instrumentation segment provides test tools, and thermal imaging and calibration equipment for electrical, industrial, electronic, and calibration applications; online condition-based monitoring equipment; portable gas detection equipment, consumables, and software as a service offerings; subscription-based technical, analytical, and compliance services; and maintenance management software for critical infrastructure in utility, industrial, energy, construction, public safety, mining, and healthcare applications.

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