Morgan Stanley Backs Troubled Chinese E-Commerce Stock

Despite negative news stories, analysts and options traders have been upbeat on PDD

Josh Selway
Jan 16, 2019 at 10:21 AM
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Pinduoduo Inc (NASDAQ:PDD) has had a tumultuous time in the public markets. The shares began trading publicly in the U.S. back in July, and since then the company has been subjected to accusations of selling counterfeit products and increased attention from short sellers. However, PDD stock is higher today following upbeat analyst attention.

Specifically, Morgan Stanley began coverage on the equity with an "overweight" designation and $29 price target. The brokerage firm acknowledged that all the negative attention could hurt average revenue per user growth in the short term, but said it believes Pinduoduo will report better-than-expected top-line results for the fourth quarter.

Surprisingly, most analysts tracking PDD shares are already bullish. In fact, all seven of those in coverage recommend buying the security, and the average 12-month price target is $29.79. At last check, the stock was up 4.2% at $25.43.

The shares have been trying to edge higher in recent months, trending upward since a mid-November low of $16.53. They hit an all-time high of $30.48 back in September.

Options traders have seemingly been betting on more upside, too. Call buying has more than tripled put buying during the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), and peak open interest sits at the January 2019 25-strike call and the February 30 call. Of course, given the high short interest on PDD -- accounting for more than 21% of the total float -- some call activity could be from shorts hedging against an upside move.


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