Five Below Stock Pulls Back After Barclays Downgrade

FIVE stock hit a record high just last week

May 6, 2019 at 9:42 AM
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Barclays downgraded Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE) to "equal weight" from "overweight," saying the retail stock is "fully valued." However, the brokerage firm also raised its FIVE price target to $140, calling the retailer one of its "best-in-class names within our coverage," and saying Five Below has emerged as "one of the most attractive growth stories in retail."

Looking at the charts, FIVE stock has been sailing higher over the past 12 months, up 105% through last Friday's close at $146.08. This technical tenacity was underscored last week, when the equity topped out at a record high $148.22 on April 30. Since then, the shares have pulled back -- down 3.5% at $141 amid stiff broad-market headwinds -- but could find support at their rising 20-day moving average.

Despite the retail stock's longer-term gains, there's plenty of skepticism priced in. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), FIVE's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.22 ranks in the 75th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip.

Plus, short interest jumped 7.5% in the most recent reporting period to 2.7 million shares. This represents a healthy 5% of Five Below stock's available float, and would take roughly two days to cover, at the average pace of trading. Should the retail shares resume their uptrend, an unwinding of this pessimism could create tailwinds for FIVE.

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