Barclays Sounds Off On 2 Struggling Toy Stocks

Toys 'R' Us liquidation plans sent HAS and MAT lower last week

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 12, 2018 at 10:07 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Toy stocks Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) and Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) both gapped lower last week on the liquidation plans of Toys 'R' Us. Over the weekend, Barclays added salt to the stocks' proverbial wounds, cutting its price target on HAS, and downgrading MAT shares.

Hasbro Stock Eyes Fifth Straight Loss

Hasbro stock is down 0.8% to trade at $90.75, after Barclays reduced its price target to $100 from $110. The equity is on track for a five-day losing streak, and last week suffered its biggest weekly loss since Nov. 3. For 2018, the security is trading just below breakeven.

Options traders have been displaying bullish tendencies, albeit amid limited volume. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows HAS stock with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.85, which ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. 

Those wanting to bet on the stock's short-term trajectory can do so at a relative discount, considering HAS stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 25% ranks in the 16th annual percentile. In other words, low volatility expectations are being priced into short-term contracts at the moment.

Mattel Stock Downgraded to 'Underweight'

Mattel stock is up 0.3% to trade at $14.88, despite Barclays downgrading the toy stock to "underweight" from "equal weight," while issuing a price-target cut to $13 from $16.  From a longer-term perspective, the shares have shed 41% year-over-year, and their 200-day moving average has put a lid on recent breakouts.

Short-term options traders have taken a put-skewed approach to the toy stock. For instance, MAT's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.55, putting it in the 89th annual percentile. This means put open interest outweighs call open interest by a much wider-than-normal margin, looking at contracts expiring within three months.

Plenty of short sellers are also cheering Mattel shares' struggles. Short interest represents nearly 17% of the stock's total available float.


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