Wells Fargo Analyst Takes a "Compelling" Bite of CAKE

A sharp drop in short interest took place in recent reporting periods

by Emma Duncan

Published on Sep 6, 2019 at 9:30 AM

Restaurant chain Cheesecake Factory Inc (NASDAQ:CAKE) is up 1.4% this morning, thanks to a fresh bull note out of Wells Fargo. The brokerage firm upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform," and hiked its price target to $50 from $46. Analyst Jon Tower said the company's recent acquisition of Fox Restaurant Concepts, current television marketing efforts, and the stock's "compelling" valuation. This type of analyst sentiment is a rare occurrence for CAKE, as 14 of 18 firms sport a "hold" or worse rating on the stock.

On the charts, Cheesecake Factory stock has struggled long term. Specifically, the shares have shed 27% over the past 12 months, and touched a three-year low of $35.83 on Aug. 21. The 40-day moving average has been a level of resistance for the shares since May, capping multiple breakout attempts from the security.

Also of note, short interest on CAKE fell 21% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for 18.8% of the stock's total available float. It would take short sellers over two full weeks to cover their bearish bets at the equity's average pace of daily trading.

Lastly, now looks like it may be a good time to target short-term contracts on CAKE. This is per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 27%, which ranks in the 13th annual percentile, revealing that extremely low volatility expectations are being priced into near-term contracts at the moment.

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