Oversold Blue Apron Stock Pops on CEO Shift

APRN call options have been very popular

Dec 1, 2017 at 10:10 AM
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Shares of meal delivery specialist Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE:APRN) are up 4.9% this morning at $3.13, after the company's co-founder Matt Salzberg yesterday stepped down as CEO -- though he'll stay on as executive chairman -- which follows co-founder Matthew Wadiak's departure as chief operating officer last July. Salzberg will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Brad Dickerson. This news comes after months of disappointment for APRN stock.

Specifically, the shares hit a record peak of $11 on their first day of trading back on June 29, but have only moved lower since amid a crowded meal delivery field that includes Amazon (AMZN) and Weight Watchers (WTW). On Nov. 22, the equity touched its lowest point ever at $2.94. This came after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results earlier in the month. In fact, coming into today, the equity's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) sat at just 26, in oversold territory.

Digging into the data, options traders are about the only ones showing a bullish bias. During the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), call buying has nearly doubled put buying. And while volume has been light on an absolute basis, call open interest of 69,000 contracts is higher than 80% of all similar readings taken since APRN options began trading on July 10.

But analysts are decidedly bearish. Just four of 14 brokerage firms recommend buying Blue Apron stock, while two others consider it a "strong sell." Moreover, APRN shares are a favorite among short sellers. These bears control almost half of the equity's float, which would take nearly one week to cover, based on average daily volumes.

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