Spotify Calls Popular After Bull Note

SPOT traders are eyeing more gains by week's end

by Josh Selway

Published on May 14, 2018 at 10:29 AM
Updated on May 14, 2018 at 10:31 AM

Streaming music stocks Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) and Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT) are in focus this morning, after investment research firm Cascend Securities initiated coverage on both. We'll take a closer look at shares of P and SPOT below, as well as some recent options activity.

Cascend Joins P Stock Skeptics

Cascend started coverage on Pandora with an "underweight" designation and $6 price target, a discount to current trading levels. The shares were last seen trading down 0.3% at $7.24, as they cool some following an enormous earnings bull gap from earlier this month. Most analysts share Cascend's skeptical outlook, with 13 of 23 in coverage handing out "hold" or "sell" ratings.

Options traders have also been showing bearish tendencies. The security's 10-day put/call volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 0.99, but although this shows an almost even split between call and put buying during the past two weeks, the annual percentile rank of 94% reveals such a preference for puts to be very unusual.

Call Traders Target SPOT Shares

Spotify stock, meanwhile, is trading up 2% at $159.95, after Cascend Securities began coverage with a "buy" rating and $185 price target. While this prices in upside of roughly 15.7%, it's actually a bit lower than the price targets that rolled in on SPOT a few weeks back. Of course, the company disappointed in its first-ever earnings release earlier this month, a day after hitting a record high of $171.23.

Spotify options volume is accelerated in early trading, with calls and puts both seeing heavy trading. The most popular option so far is the May 162.50 call, where new positions are being opened. If this is buy-to-open activity, the traders are betting on SPOT stock rising back above $162.50 by Friday's close, when the contracts expire.

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