Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI)

National Instruments Co. (NASDAQ:NATIGet Rating) was the target of unusually large options trading on Friday. Stock traders bought 5,090 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 707% compared to the typical volume of 631 call options.

National Instruments Stock Performance

NASDAQ:NATI opened at $54.25 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 2.45 and a quick ratio of 1.58. National Instruments has a 1-year low of $29.81 and a 1-year high of $55.04. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $40.38 and a two-hundred day moving average of $38.98. The stock has a market cap of $7.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 51.67 and a beta of 1.09.

National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATIGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The technology company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.10. National Instruments had a net margin of 8.59% and a return on equity of 16.91%. The business had revenue of $427.93 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $426.71 million. On average, research analysts expect that National Instruments will post 1.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

National Instruments Announces Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 7th were given a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 4th. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. National Instruments’s payout ratio is 106.67%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several analysts recently issued reports on NATI shares. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on National Instruments in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on National Instruments from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, October 10th. StockNews.com downgraded National Instruments from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. The Goldman Sachs Group decreased their price objective on shares of National Instruments from $49.00 to $44.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 28th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of National Instruments from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, National Instruments currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $48.13.

Insider Transactions at National Instruments

In other news, CEO Eric Howard Starkloff sold 2,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.86, for a total transaction of $98,406.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 283,478 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,283,779.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. In other news, CEO Eric Howard Starkloff sold 2,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.86, for a total transaction of $98,406.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 283,478 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,283,779.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Ritu Favre sold 1,437 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.18, for a total value of $54,864.66. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 38,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,468,593.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 6,437 shares of company stock worth $288,351 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.66% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On National Instruments

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Texas Permanent School Fund lifted its position in shares of National Instruments by 0.3% during the third quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 95,161 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $3,591,000 after purchasing an additional 269 shares during the last quarter. Mission Wealth Management LP lifted its holdings in National Instruments by 1.2% in the third quarter. Mission Wealth Management LP now owns 24,257 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $915,000 after acquiring an additional 277 shares during the last quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp lifted its holdings in National Instruments by 18.5% in the third quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 1,810 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $68,000 after acquiring an additional 283 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. lifted its holdings in National Instruments by 4.6% in the first quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 6,801 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $269,000 after acquiring an additional 298 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR lifted its holdings in National Instruments by 3.8% in the third quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 8,290 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $313,000 after acquiring an additional 301 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.87% of the company’s stock.

About National Instruments

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National Instruments Corporation provides a software-centric platform and systems to engineers and scientists worldwide. Its programming environments software includes NI LabVIEW, a graphical software platform to visualize hardware configuration, measurement data, and debugging of application; NI LabWindows/CVI, an ANSI C integrated development environment and engineering toolbox; and NI Measurement Studio, a suite of .NET tools for building engineering applications in Microsoft Visual Studio.

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