Weak Tencent Earnings Drag Alibaba Stock Lower

Analysts are maintaining their bullish stances, though

Managing Editor
Aug 15, 2018 at 9:52 AM
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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stock is down 1.9% to trade at $169.17 this morning, as weak earnings from Shenzhen-based tech giant Tencent weighs on Chinese internet stocks. The currency crisis in Turkey is certainly not helping matters either. 

It's been a rough summer for Alibaba stock. BABA surged to a record high of $211.70 on June 5, but it's suffered heavy losses since then, and yesterday breached its 320-day moving average for the first time since June 2016. Today's extended drop takes the shares below their year-to-date breakeven point, and to their lowest standing of 2018. 

The equity's recent struggles haven't been enough to sway analysts. All 20 of the brokerages covering the security rate it a "buy" or "strong buy," and the consensus 12-month price target is $238.28.

In terms of options data, traders have been heavily bullish toward BABA. This is per the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.66 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 83rd annual percentile. However, given that short interest surged 6% in the most recent reporting period to a record high 141.52 million shares, it's possible some of this call buying could be shorts seeking an options hedge. 

Echoing this, Alibaba stock's short-term traders are more call-skewed than usual, with its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.53 ranking in the 3rd percentile of its annual range. This indicates that near-term call open interest outweighs put open interest by a wider-than-usual margin right now.

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