Could Albertsons Stock Extend Its Record Highs?

ACI announced the addition of Sharon McCollam earlier this week

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Albertsons Companies, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is a food and drug retailer in the United States. ACI operates 2,278 retail food and drug stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 399 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. Albertsons also operate stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under more than 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons. This afternoon, ACI was last seen up 0.2% at $29.68, earlier touching a fresh record peak of $30.42.

On Aug. 10, Albertsons Companies announced that Sharon McCollam will join the company on September 7 as ACI's President and Chief Financial Officer. McCollam retired from Best Buy in 2016, where she served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.

According to the Albertsons' press release, McCollam will assume several leadership responsibilities, including covering finance, corporate strategy, information technology, supply chain operations, and property development. The new President and CFO will be involved in all aspects of the company’s growth and transformation strategy going forward.

Albertsons stock has increased by approximately 20% since ACI announced its new leadership. Albertsons stock has also increased by approximately 100% year-over-year and ACI is trading up 130% since bottoming at a record-low of $12.91 back in September. Additionally, shares of ACI have grown by 73% year-to-date. Albertsons also offers a forward dividend of $0.40 and a dividend yield 1.40%.

Overall, Albertsons stock continues to be a strong value play after its big upward move. Although ACI's current price-earnings ratio of 25.36 is fairly high, Albertsons stock has a very attractive forward price-earnings ratio of 12.52.

Also worth noting, short interest has jumped 14.6% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for 6.9% of the stock's total available float. At ACI's average pace of daily trading, it would take short sellers 13 days to buy back their bearish bets.

Lastly, in the options pits, puts have ruled the roost, leaving plenty of room for bulls to enter the ring. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.00, which stands higher than 90% of readings from the past year. This means puts are being picked up at a relatively quicker-than-usual clip. 

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