Call Buying Nears Extreme Levels on Lululemon

Call buying at the major exchanges has taken off

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 3, 2019 at 9:56 AM

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) has had a great 2019, soaring 85.5% and hitting an all-time high of $229.65 last week before closing yesterday at $225.53. More bullish analyst attention is coming through on the outperforming retailer, and this matches the sentiment seen in the options pits, where traders have seemingly been betting on more upside for LULU shares.

Starting with the analyst notes, the security saw its price target raised to $260 at Oppenheimer and $250 at Cowen since yesterday's close, which both come in above the average 12-month price target of $220.70. Considering this consensus price target is below LULU's current price, we could expect more bull notes going forward.

As for the options activity we alluded to, we keep a close eye on activity at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), and data shows a strong uptick in call buying relative to put buying in recent weeks. Specifically, the 10-day call/put volume ratio is 2.65, ranking in the 99th annual percentile.

Some of the largest increases in open interest during that two-week time frame was at the now-expired weekly 11/29 series, but there were also notable build-ups at the weekly 12/6 232.50- and 235-strike calls. Meanwhile, peak open interest is actually at the weekly 12/6 230-strike call, while the front-month 225 call isn't far behind on the list. Bulls today may be disappointed, as the broad-market headwinds have Lululemon stock down 1.4% at $222.28.


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