Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Stock, Pixel Smartphone Struggle to Excite

Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL) Pixel smartphone was not popular among Christmas shoppers

Dec 29, 2016 at 11:07 AM
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"FANG" stocks have been in the limelight recently, with Evercore ISI calling out this pair for their 2017 potential. The brokerage firm also waxed optimistic on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), saying the company is "extremely well positioned," and cited "enthusiasm among its advertisers" over changes to its core search. However, at least one analyst more recently expressed reservations about the Google Pixel smartphone.

Specifically, Flurry Analytics looked at the most popular smartphone brands in the week leading up to Christmas. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was in the lead thanks to its iPhone, followed by Samsung, Huawei, and LG. However, GOOGL was noticeably absent. "With only two devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and mixed market reception, Google struggled to drum up excitement this holiday season," Flurry opined.

This isn't the only space in which Alphabet has struggled to win supporters. In the options pits, too, trading activity has tilted in an unusually bearish direction. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.91 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits just 1 percentage point from a 12-month peak. Echoing this, GOOGL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.97 ranks in the top quartile of all readings from the past year.

Whether bullish or bearish, short-term options traders can score a bargain at the moment. GOOGL's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 17% sits at an annual low. In other words, options in the front three-months' series are pricing in extremely low volatility expectations.

Technically speaking, though, there hasn't been much to see on the charts. For the past five months, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been chopping sideways around the $800 level, last seen at $800.79. In fact, the post-election boost that most stocks have seen hasn't benefited GOOGL shares, which are actually lower relative to their Nov. 8 close.

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