Are Record Highs Ahead for Dollar General Corporation (DG)?

Goldman Sachs weighed in on Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) earlier

by Karee Venema

Published on May 26, 2015 at 10:49 AM
Updated on May 26, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Goldman Sachs added Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) to its "conviction buy" list this morning, and raised its price target to $87 from $85, in never-before-seen territory. The stock is failing to capitalize on the bullish brokerage note -- down 0.1% at $73.46, and paring its year-to-date gain to 3.9% -- most likely to the disappointment of recent option traders.

In fact, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open more than eight calls for each put over the past 50 sessions. What's more, the resultant call/put volume ratio of 8.03 sits just 12 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

Echoing this call-skewed trend is DG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.22. Not only does this show that call open interest more than quadruples put open interest among options expiring in three months or less, but it ranks lower than 76% of similar readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, speculative traders are more call-focused than usual toward DG.

It's more of a mixed bag outside of the options pits, where nine analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating, versus nine "holds" or worse. Additionally, the average 12-month price target of $81.45 stands at an 11% premium to current trading levels, but also represents a record high.

Meanwhile, short interest jumped more than 24% in the latest reporting period, but still only accounts for 2.1% of the stock's available float. Looking ahead, Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) is slated to host its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow, and unveil first-quarter earnings one week from today.

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