Starbucks Shares Slip on Schultz Retirement Announcement

SBUX options are attractively priced for short-term traders at the moment

Managing Editor
Jun 5, 2018 at 10:03 AM
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Coffee stock Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is lower in early trading, after the company's former CEO and co-founder Howard Schultz announced that he will retire from the executive chairman role on June 26 -- the anniversary of taking SBUX public in 1992. As part of his next chapter, Schultz stated that he hopes to take part "in giving back" through philanthropy and public service -- sparking speculation as to whether or not that includes a run for president. In response, SBUX stock is down 3% at $55.37, at last check. 

Starbucks stock has been in a channel of lower highs since mid-April, with the $56-$56.50 area acting as a floor of support. Today, however, SBUX is poised for its lowest close since February, and is back below its 200-day moving average and year-to-date breakeven.

Regardless of the stock's recent price action, analyst sentiment remains mostly bullish. Of the 25 firms covering SBUX, 16 currently hold "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations. Further, the stock's average 12-month price target stands at $63.88 -- now a 15.4% premium to current levels. A round of post-Schultz downgrades and/or price-targets could further weigh on SBUX.

With that in mind, traders looking to speculate on the equity's short-term price action may want to do so with options, which are attractively priced at the moment. SBUX currently sports a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 15%, which ranks in the 14th percentile of its annual range. This suggests that near-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment, which could help maximize the benefit of leverage for premium buyers.

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