Analyst Bets on a Foot Locker Breakout

Earnings are due out later this month

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 8, 2019 at 9:42 AM

Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) has been grinding higher since a disappointing earnings report in August sent them to annual lows near $33, closing yesterday at $46.48. This was the best close since May, and puts the shares comfortably above recent congestion in the $45 area. This morning the retail stock is now up 1%, after a bullish analyst note.

Susquehanna this morning upgraded its view to "positive" from "neutral" and lifted its price target to $55 from $39, saying it expects the company's second half of the year to be better than it previously expected. FL shares would need to take out the 200-day moving average to reach this price target, as this important trendline sits right overtop the current price, hovering near the $48.65 region.

Options traders have been betting bullishly, too, based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The 10-day call/put volume ratio there stands at 4.47, and ranks in the 74th annual percentile, showing strong demand for call buying.

Some of this could be from short sellers hedging, however. Short interest rose 12.2% in the last reporting period, and now accounts for 9.5% of the total float. So it's possible these bears are using calls to hedge against a breakout in Foot Locker stock. Either way, volatility expectations look low right now, based on the Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 31%, which ranks in the 8th annual percentile. The window to pick up FL options at a bargain could be closing soon, though, with earnings scheduled for Nov. 22.


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