FIZZ Stock Goes Flat on an Earnings Flop

National Beverage stock is pacing for its worst day ever

by Lillian Currens

Published on Mar 8, 2019 at 10:09 AM

The shares of National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:FIZZ) are down 25.3% at $51.01 in early trading, after the LaCroix parent reported disappointing earnings and revenue for its fiscal third quarter. National Beverage CEO Nick Caporella said the company is "truly sorry" for the nearly 40% drop in profit, and said "much of this was the result of injustice," but didn't elaborate. Today, FIZZ stock is pacing for its worst day ever.

The sparkling water concern hit a new two-year low of $50.53 out of the gate today. Prior to today's tumble, the stock had been in a channel of lower highs and lows, and is down 58% from its Sept. 6 peak of $123.27.

Guggenheim downgraded the stock to "sell" from "neutral," and slashed its price target to $45 from $72 following the earnings flop. However, even before this miss, the majority of analysts were already leaning bearishly, with three of five brokerage firms dishing out "hold" or "strong sell" ratings. The consensus 12-month price target of $80, however, is now at a more than 50% premium to current levels, suggesting additional price-target cuts could be coming for FIZZ. 

Options traders were piling on their bearish bets, too. The equity sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.45 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits in the 90th percentile of its annual range, meaning puts have been bought over calls at a much quicker clip than usual. 

Echoing this, FIZZ's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.67 sits in the 98th percentile of its annual range. This suggests that short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy during the past 12 months. 

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