Analysts Have Been Slow to Adjust to the Cree Stock Breakout

CREE shares have doubled since their August lows

Mar 7, 2018 at 10:32 AM
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Shares of light bulb producer Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE) have been strong since bottoming near $20 in August, touching a three-year high of $42.80 yesterday thanks to news the company's acquiring Infineon Technologies' radio frequency power business. This prompted a price-target hike to $37 from $30 at Cowen, which matches the consensus 12-month price target for CREE stock across Wall Street. Taking a closer look, though, the equity's strong price action may be catching analysts by surprise.

For example, just two of the 13 brokerage firms tracking the security have "buy" ratings in place. As contrarian traders, we would suggest Cree stock could see additional bull notes come through in the near future, which could result in higher highs.

Options traders have already been displaying bullish tendencies. First of all, the March 38 call is home to peak open interest due to massive buy-to-open activity less than a month ago. And just yesterday more than 6,000 positions were added at the May 44 call. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) confirms a substantial call bias, with long calls roughly tripling puts in the past 10 days.

CREE remains heavily shorted, so some of this call activity could be short sellers using options to hedge against even more upside. As it stands now, short interest represents 12.3% of the stock's float and based on average daily volumes, it'd take more than seven sessions for these bears to cover their positions.


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