Analysts Raise Outlooks on Las Vegas Sands Stock After Earnings

The majority of analysts in coverage on LVS say it's a "buy"

by Josh Selway

Published on Apr 26, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Casino stock Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is trading up 1.1% at $73.15 this morning, after the company announced better-than-expected first-quarter results after the close on Wednesday. If the gains hold, it would snap a two-quarter post-earnings losing streak for LVS. The resulting analyst attention has been nothing but positive, too, with at least six brokerage firms raising their price targets, ranging from $72 to $91.

As it stands now, the equity is up just over 5% in 2018, recently bouncing from familiar support in the form of the 160-day moving average. You can see in the chart below how well the shares performed following the two previous meet-ups with this trendline over the past year. On the other hand, LVS has suffered a series of lower highs since the January peak near $80. 

las vegas sands stock

Turning to recent options data, sentiment was bullish ahead of earnings, based on the 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.95 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Not only does this show call buying roughly tripled put buying in the past two weeks, but that ratio tops 93% of all others from the past year, showing such a focus on long calls is relatively rare.

On a closer look, the June 80 call saw the largest increase in open interest during this time frame, followed by the front-month May 78 call. Anyone who bought to open the contracts will be looking for Las Vegas Sands stock to extend its rally in the weeks ahead. In today's post-earnings action, however, puts are actually more popular, trading at three times the expected pace, with new positions being opened at the weekly 4/27 73-strike put -- the most popular contract so far.


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