How Under Armour Inc (UA) Could Shrug Off the Morgan Stanley Setback

If Under Armour Inc (UA) resumes its trek higher, a capitulation among option bears and short sellers could be a positive catalyst

Apr 11, 2016 at 3:05 PM
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Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) is staring at its worst daily percentage loss in months, after Morgan Stanley expressed concerns about slowing sales for the sports apparel maker. At last check, UA stock is down 5.5% at $41.15 -- a move anticipated by options traders and short sellers alike.

During the past 50 sessions at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHL), traders have bought to open 1.12 UA puts for every call. The corresponding put/call volume ratio ranks near the top quartile of its annual range. Similarly, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) comes in at 1.18, with puts outweighing calls among options expiring in the next three months.

Elsewhere, short interest makes up a lofty 15.4% of UA's float. At the stock's average daily trading volume, it would take more than two weeks to buy back these shorted shares, pointing to an ample supply of sideline cash available.

While the bears appear to be in the driver's seat today, a longer-term view tells a different story entirely. Since hitting an annual low of $32.66 in late January, UA has rallied 26%. What's more, the stock is currently hovering around its year-to-date breakeven mark, and just above another layer of potential support at its 100-week moving average -- located at $40.25.

From a contrarian perspective, today's pullback looks like it could end up being a buying opportunity. Provided Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) resumes its longer-term trek higher -- a solid bet, looking at historical trends -- a capitulation among option bears and/or short-covering activity could act as a powerful tailwind. 

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