Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Rockwell Automation Put Options (NYSE:ROK)

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Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 1,592 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 998% compared to the typical daily volume of 145 put options.

NYSE:ROK traded up $23.50 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $202.70. 87,718 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 773,629. Rockwell Automation has a one year low of $141.46 and a one year high of $191.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68, a current ratio of 1.51 and a quick ratio of 1.17. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $168.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $162.09. The company has a market cap of $20.81 billion, a PE ratio of 24.85, a P/E/G ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 1.41.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 12th will be paid a dividend of $1.02 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 8th. This represents a $4.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.01%. This is a positive change from Rockwell Automation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. Rockwell Automation’s payout ratio is presently 50.31%.

In other news, CEO Blake D. Moret sold 1,700 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $179.07, for a total transaction of $304,419.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 41,395 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,412,602.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Blake D. Moret sold 7,300 shares of Rockwell Automation stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $179.67, for a total transaction of $1,311,591.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 46,995 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,443,591.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.43% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ROK. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Rockwell Automation by 0.6% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 119,971 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $21,050,000 after acquiring an additional 709 shares in the last quarter. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. raised its holdings in Rockwell Automation by 4.0% in the second quarter. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. now owns 4,100 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $672,000 after buying an additional 159 shares during the last quarter. Swedbank raised its holdings in Rockwell Automation by 5.4% in the second quarter. Swedbank now owns 1,044,529 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $171,125,000 after buying an additional 53,294 shares during the last quarter. Ellenbecker Investment Group purchased a new position in Rockwell Automation in the second quarter worth about $392,000. Finally, Rockland Trust Co. raised its holdings in Rockwell Automation by 6.1% in the second quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 25,206 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,129,000 after buying an additional 1,456 shares during the last quarter. 72.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on ROK. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $145.00 to $142.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 11th. Citigroup cut their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $180.00 to $174.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th. Longbow Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Rockwell Automation in a research note on Tuesday, September 17th. ValuEngine raised shares of Rockwell Automation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on shares of Rockwell Automation from $145.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Rockwell Automation has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $171.36.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation, Inc provides industrial automation and information solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Architecture & Software; and Control Products & Solutions. The Architecture & Software segment provides control platforms, including controllers, electronic operator interface devices, electronic input/output devices, communication and networking products, and industrial computers that perform multiple control disciplines and monitoring of applications, such as discrete, batch and continuous process, drives control, motion control, and machine safety control.

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