Estee Lauder Stock Sees Big Bounce on Earnings Beat

Recent option buyers may be nervous after EL's bull gap

by Lillian Currens

Published on Feb 5, 2019 at 10:08 AM

The shares of Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) are up 11.8% at $152.21, after the cosmetics concern reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. The company said growing revenue in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as strong holiday sales, were catalysts for the earnings surprise. As a result, Estee Lauder lifted its full-year forecast. Today, the security is pacing for its biggest one-day bounce since November 2011. 

Prior to today, EL stock was in a channel of lower highs and lows, bottoming at $121.47 on Jan. 10. However, the shares today are attempting to break out of that range, set for their highest close since early December.

Analysts were quite bullish ahead of earnings, too, with 11 of the the 17 analysts following the stock giving it a "strong buy" rating, while only four call it a "hold." However, there's room for price-target hikes. Today's EL pop has it within striking distance of the consensus 12-month target price of $152.08. 

Conversely, options traders were betting on more downside for the stock. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows that EL sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.8 that sits in the 90th percentile of its annual range. This means that puts bought to open have almost doubled calls in the past 10 weeks, and traders were establishing bearish bets at a much quicker-than-usual clip ahead of earnings. This could be a catalyst for even more tailwinds for EL shares, should bears begin to hit the exits. 




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