Dunkin Stock Earns More Wall Street Praise

The charts for DNKN and SBUX are vastly different

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 18, 2018 at 9:56 AM

Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) has so far been winning its battle against high-profile short seller Jim Chanos. The shares are fresh off an all-time high of $72.70 and have extended their year-over-year advance to more than 34%. Meanwhile, a number of analysts have been raising their outlooks on DNKN stock, with now fewer than four hiking their price targets in just the past week. The latest note came from Cowen and Company, which this morning lifted its price target to $71 from $62 -- though even this sits below the equity's close yesterday of $72.17.

So while a few brokerage firms have modestly upped their views on Dunkin, data suggests there's plenty of room for much more bullish attention in the future. In fact, 12 of the 19 covering brokerage firms still have "hold" or "strong sell" ratings on the equity, and the average 12-month price target sits below current levels at $66.05, with the stock last seen at $72.53. 

And interestingly, short interest has actually been declining on DNKN, dipping in four straight reporting periods. More than 11% of the float is still dedicated to short interest, though, equaling almost nine times the average daily trading volume -- indicating that continued technical strength could push even more shorts to the exits, which may result in additional tailwinds. At the same time, some short sellers may be hedging with call options, since more than 5,400 calls were bought to open in the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to just 601 puts.

Switching gears, it's worth noting that rival coffee chain Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has been hit with price-target cuts this morning, as well as yesterday. Barclays this morning cut its price target to $57, and Telsey Advisory yesterday moved its price target down to $58. This follows SBUX stock's bear gap from about a month ago. Overall, the security has shed over 12% year-over-year and was last seen trading at $51.09.


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