Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Friday. Stock traders acquired 11,689 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 143% compared to the typical volume of 4,812 put options.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Vale during the first quarter valued at about $107,000. Cadinha & Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Vale during the first quarter valued at about $109,000. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in shares of Vale by 8.4% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 11,560 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 893 shares in the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Vale during the second quarter valued at about $107,000. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. raised its position in shares of Vale by 19.2% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 12,907 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 2,075 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 9.58% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Vale (NYSE VALE) opened at 10.68 on Monday. Vale has a 12 month low of $4.86 and a 12 month high of $11.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $55.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.28 and a beta of 1.55. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $9.70 and a 200 day moving average price of $9.26.

Vale (NYSE:VALE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The basic materials company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17 by $0.01. Vale had a return on equity of 16.74% and a net margin of 11.01%. The company had revenue of $7.24 billion during the quarter. On average, analysts anticipate that Vale will post $1.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of research firms have weighed in on VALE. BMO Capital Markets set a $8.00 price target on Vale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. TheStreet cut Vale from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $11.00 price target on Vale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $8.00 price target on Vale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating on shares of Vale in a report on Friday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Vale currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $9.16.

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Vale Company Profile

Vale SA is a global producer of iron ore and iron ore pellets, key raw materials for steelmaking, and producer of nickel. The Company also produces copper, metallurgical and thermal coal, potash, phosphates and other fertilizer nutrients, manganese ore, ferroalloys, platinum group metals, gold, silver and cobalt.

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