Earnings Trigger Yelp Stock Surge

Puts have been a popular pick among options traders

by Emma Duncan

Published on Aug 9, 2019 at 9:47 AM

Shares of business review platform Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) are surging this morning, up 8.7% at $38 at last check. The company last night reported impressive second-quarter numbers, and also revealed its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Charles “Lanny” Baker will be stepping down effective Sept. 2, 2019. During the search for a replacement, Finance Vice President James Miln will act as interim CFO. 

No fewer than three brokerage firms have already handed out fresh bull notes this morning. Credit Suisse is leading the group with a hike to $46 from $45, while Evercore and RBC follow closely behind with raises to $44 and $38, respectively. More bull notes could be around the corner for YELP, with 18 of 21 covering firms sporting a "hold" or "strong sell" recommendation coming into today. However, today's round of hikes doesn't come as much of a surprise, as the stock's average 12-month price target of $38.43 is now in-line with current trading levels. 

Looking toward options, puts seems to be popular among traders. This is per the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.35, which ranks in the 81st annual percentile per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). In other words, puts have been purchased over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

Shorts look to be ramping up covering on the security. Short interest rose 9.2% during the most recent reporting period and now accounts for just over 12% of the stock's total available float. At Yelp stock's average pace of trading, it would take shorts over a week to buy back their bearish bets.

 


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