Goldman Sachs Stock Sluggish Despite Upbeat Earnings, New CEO

David Solomon will take over as CEO in October

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 17, 2018 at 10:14 AM

Earnings season is in full swing, with many bank names the first to step up to the plate. One big-cap bank stock in focus this morning is Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), after the company blew past Wall Street's expectations, posting adjusted earnings per share of $5.98, compared to the average forecast of $4.66, and second-quarter revenue of $9.40 billion that also surpassed estimates. In addition, Goldman Sachs announced that current president David Solomon will be the company's new CEO, effective Oct. 1, with Lloyd Blankfein retiring.  

Nevertheless, Goldman Sachs stock is 1.5% lower to trade at $228.02 this morning, reversing pre-market gains. The news has the shares back below their 40-day moving average -- a trendline that was topped yesterday for the first time in four months. Overall, its been a tough few months for the equity, having shed 17% since its March 12 record high of $275.29. 

In the options pits, calls were exceptionally popular ahead of earnings. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows GS with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.57, ranking in the elevated 78th percentile of its annual range. This means that calls have been purchased over puts at a much faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

Echoing this is Goldman's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.58, which ranks in the 8th percentile of its 12-month range. In other words, speculators are more call-heavy than usual among options expiring in the next three months.

Today, calls remain the options of choice, with 22,000 exchanged -- four times the intraday average -- in the first hour of trading, compared to fewer than 8,000 GS puts. Most active are the now out-of-the-money July 230 and 235 calls -- already the most populated strikes among all series of options, with 7.724 and 9,368 contracts in open interest.


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