ROKU Slammed With First "Sell" in Nearly A Year

Roku's short-term options are relatively cheap

by Emma Duncan

Published on Mar 13, 2019 at 10:18 AM

Streaming name Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) is 4% lower at $67.87 this morning, after the shares were slapped with their first "sell" rating in nearly a year, per Thomson Reuters. Loop Capital downgraded ROKU to "sell" from "hold" on "excessive valuation" and increased insider selling. Meanwhile, Macquarie downgraded ROKU to "neutral" from "outperform," but hiked its price target to $66 from $57. Lastly, SunTrust Robinson upped its price target to $63 from $42.

The slew of mixed analyst notes comes one day after Roku announced plans to raise equity by offering up to $100 million in common stock. Prior to that, ROKU shares had been flirting with five-month highs, peaking at $74.35 on Monday, March 11 -- within striking distance of their record high of $77.56, tagged Oct. 1. Since touching an annual low of $26.30 in late December, in fact, ROKU has skyrocketed 158%.

Today, though, the security is set to end south of its 10-day moving average for just the second time in 2019. However, the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) stood at 70 at last night's close -- in overbought territory, suggesting a short-term cooling-off period may have been in the cards.

It's not surprising, then, to find that most analysts are optimistic toward the outperformer, with eight of 13 covering firms issuing "buy" or better ratings. On the other hand, the consensus 12-month price target of $65.98 represents a discount to ROKU's current price.

Options traders, meanwhile, are more put-heavy than usual right now, despite the stock's surge in 2019. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.04 is in the 98th percentile of its annual range, suggesting near-term put open interest exceeds call open interest by a much wider-than-usual margin.

Roku stock options are still relatively inexpensive, too. Specifically, ROKU's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 56% sits higher than 12% of all other readings in the past year. This indicates that now might be an attractive time to speculate with near-term options. Likewise, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) stands at 100 out of a possible 100, indicating ROKU has exceeded options traders' volatility expectations in the past year -- a boon for would-be premium buyers.

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