Bear Note Has Bed Bath & Beyond Down Again

Bearish options traders have blasted BBBY stock, too

Karee Venema
Mar 20, 2019 at 9:58 AM
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Evercore ISI initiated coverage on Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) with an "underperform" rating and $12 price target -- a discount to last night's close at $13.97. The brokerage firm expressed concern over falling margins and same-store sales, as well as increasing competition from online and discount retailers -- notably, Amazon.com (AMZN) and Wayfair (W).

This echoes recent concerns expressed by a skeptical brokerage bunch. In fact, all 16 analysts covering BBBY stock call it a "hold" or "sell," while the average 12-month price target of $12.87 sits below the security's current perch.

Options traders are bearish on the retail stock, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Bed Bath & Beyond's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.44 ranks in the 83rd annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at an accelerated clip.

Likewise, BBBY's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 3.67 ranks in the 100th annual percentile, indicating an extreme put-skew among short-term traders. The May 12.50 put is home to peak open interest of 32,483 contracts, and data suggests some buy-to-open activity here.

On the charts, Bed Bath & Beyond shares are down more than 36% year-over-year. And today's 0.7% drop has the stock trading at $13.88 -- and pacing for its fifth straight loss. A losing streak of this length is hardly new for the retailer, though, with BBBY stock stringing together six consecutive daily declines earlier this month.


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