Blue-Chip Stock Falters Ahead of Earnings Report

The equity looks overdue for a round of price-target cuts

Digital Content Manager
Jan 24, 2022 at 2:41 PM
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Blue-chip concern 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is down 1.4% at $170.20 at last check, likely due to some broader-market headwinds. Today's dip comes ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, which is due out before the open tomorrow, Jan. 25. Below, we will dive deeper into 3M stock's technical setup, as well as some of its previous post-earnings activity.

MMM has struggled on the charts, slipping below a floor at the $176 level earlier this month after being rejected at the $182 mark. The shares are now testing support at the $170 level, which contained their December pullback. Now pacing for its fifth loss in the last six sessions, 3M stock has shed 14.4% year-over-year.

MMM Intraday

The equity has a history of disappointing post-earnings reactions, finishing six of eight next-day sessions lower over the past two years, including a 5.7% dip in January 2020. Options traders are pricing in a 6% swing for MMM this time around, which is more than double the 2.9% move it averaged following its last eight reports, regardless of direction.

The brokerage bunch is firmly in the bearish camp, with 14 of the 15 analysts covering MMM carrying a tepid "hold" or worse rating. However, the 12-month consensus target price of $183.60 is a 7.5% premium to current levels, indicating price-target cuts could be in the horizon.

Options bears are not waiting for the earnings report to chime in. So far today, 6,617 puts have exchanged hands, or three times the intraday average, compared to 5,666 calls. Most popular is the 1/28 180-strike call, though, followed by the 170-strike put in the same weekly series, with positions being opened at both. 


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