ABB Eyes Fifth Straight Win on CEO, Earnings Buzz

Recent ABB option buyers are likely cheering

by Lillian Currens

Published on Apr 17, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Shares of Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB) are soaring today, after CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer stepped down, to be temporarily replaced by Chairman Peter Voser. Voser announced that the company has already initiated its search for a permanent CEO. The company also reported first-quarter earnings. ABB stock is up 6% at $21.15, in response, pacing for its fifth consecutive win and its best day since July 2012. 

Since bottoming out at two-year lows in late December, ABB stock's rebound attempts were met with resistance in the $20-$20.50 area. Today, however, the shares are set to close above this region, and take out their 200-day moving average for the first time since September.

Analysts could start to take notice soon. Currently, there are only two "strong buy" ratings on the table, compared to three "holds" and three "strong sells." Plus, the consensus 12-month target price of $22.29 is right in line with current levels, leaving the door open for potential price-target hikes. 

Bulls abound in the options pits, though. In the last 10 days, roughly 22 calls have been picked up for every put on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits in the 83rd percentile of its annual range, hinting at a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets of late. 

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