Estee Lauder Stock Dips Amid Downgrades

EL touched a record high just yesterday

Managing Editor
May 2, 2019 at 11:11 AM
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Shares of beauty product name Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) touched a record high of $178.58 yesterday, as traders responded to the company's quarterly earnings and upwardly revised 2019 forecast. However, EL stock ultimately ended the day lower, and is in the red today amid negative analyst attention and an ugly earnings reaction for sector peer Avon Products (AVP). At last check, EL stock was 0.9% lower at $168.70.

Of note, RBC downgraded its rating to "sector perform" from "outperform," saying Estee Lauder is unlikely to sustain its top-line momentum over the long term. D.A. Davidson, meanwhile, downgraded EL to "neutral" from "buy," and sliced its price target to $155 from $179 -- a discount to current levels. Most other analysts reacted positively to Estee Lauder earnings, though, with the stock scoring a slew of price-target hikes.

Moving on, short-term EL options traders were call-biased ahead of earnings. This is per the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.79, which lands in the low 9th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term option players have rarely been more call-heavy during the past 12 months.

Furthermore, the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in a 2.47, ranking in the 95th percentile of its annual range. This shows that the call bias has been around for quite some time, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets over bearish during the past 10 weeks.

On the charts, EL stock has been creeping higher since its Jan. 10 low of $121.63, assisted by a post-earnings bull gap in early February. In fact, the security is already up 29% in 2019. Today, the shares are testing their footing atop the 20-day moving average, which hasn't been breached on a daily closing basis in nearly two months.

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