ANF Stock Rides The Retail Wave Lower

ANF is seeing unusual options volume in today's trading

Deputy Editor
Jan 14, 2019 at 3:13 PM
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Abercrombie & Fitch Co (NYSE:ANF) stock is taking a hit today after the company revealed weak same-store sales for the fourth quarter -- adding to the retail sector's broader troubles. The company cited a negative impact from currency exchange rates, the calendar setup, and noted weakness in its women's wear category.

At last check, ANF shares were down 4.1% at $19.29, reversing course after trading as high as $20.81 earlier. The shares of the retail concern have struggled to rebound after a bear gap in late August. The equity has recently been contained by the $21 area, as well as its 120-day trendline. 

ANF Since July 2018

Analyst have been eyeing ANF suspiciously, with the majority giving Abercrombie stock a tepid "hold" rating, four slapping it with a "sell" or worse, and only one analyst giving out a "strong buy." Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $20.46 falls in line with current levels. 

ANF is seeing unusual options volume, too, with about 9,999 puts exchanging hands today -- roughly four times the average intraday pace -- and calls aren't far behind, with the 5,452 contracts traded -- three times faster than the usual clip. Before today's drop, Abercrombie & Fitch's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.65 sat in the highest percentile of its annual range, suggesting that short-term options players haven't been more put-heavy in the past 12 months.

What's more, short sellers have been jumping on the security of late, with the 16.13 million shares sold short representing a whopping 24.7% of the stocks available float, or a week-and-a-half's worth of pent-up buying power, based on average daily trading volumes.

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