Snap Stock Nears Record Low After Bear Note

Moffett Nathanson cautioned on Snap's fiscal stability

Managing Editor
Oct 9, 2018 at 9:13 AM
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The shares of Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) are down 1.7% in electronic trading, after Moffett Nathanson trimmed its price target on the Snapchat parent to $6.50 from $8.00. The analyst in coverage cautioned on the company's core operations, saying it was "quickly running out of money." The brokerage firm also called for substantial expense reductions next year to ensure SNAP has the liquidity to stay in business.

SNAP stock closed last night at $7.48, and fell to a record low of $7.27 in intraday trading. The shares have been guided lower by their descending 20-day moving average since late July, and have amassed an astounding 13 weekly losses in a row. Plus, the equity has shed nearly two-thirds of its value since an early February high of $21.22.

Short sellers couldn't be happier with this price action, and continue to pile on. Short interest increased by 12% in the last two reporting periods to a record high 126.07 million shares. This represents 17% of SNAP's total available float, and 4.1 times the average daily trading volume. 

In the options pits, traders have been exceptionally bearish toward SNAP in recent months. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows SNAP with a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.99. While this ratio indicates calls have slightly outnumbered puts on an absolute basis, it registers in the 98th percentile of its annual range, suggesting the rate of put buying over call buying has been faster than usual clip.

Those purchasing premium on near-term options are in luck, too. This is per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 64%, which ranks in the 19th percentile of its annual range. In simpler terms, short-term options are cheap, from a volatility perspective.

Furthermore, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) comes in at 90 out of a possible 100. This shows the social media stock has tended to make larger-than-expected moves on the chart over the past year, relative to what the options market has priced in.

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