Red-Hot Micron Stock Upgraded Ahead of Earnings

Wedbush sees multiple catalysts in 2020 for Micron stock

Managing Editor
Dec 17, 2019 at 10:31 AM
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Ahead of its fiscal first-quarter earnings report due after the close tomorrow, Dec. 18, analysts are heaping the praise on Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Wedbush upgraded the chip stock to "outperform" from "neutral," while hiking its price target all the way to $65 from $44. The analyst in coverage cited several macro trends that could be positive catalysts in 2020, including memory demand, 5G handset rollouts, and new gaming consoles. Separately, Needham upped its price target to $70 from $60.

In response, Micron stock is up 0.3% to trade at $53.12. Should today's results hold, it will be MU's sixth straight win, its longest winning streak since June 2018. Year-to-date, the shares are now up 67.3%, with a floor emerging at the $45.50 level. 

Looking at Micron's earnings history, it's been a mixed bag for the semiconductor concern. The stock has closed higher the day after reporting in four of the past eight quarters, averaging a 7.2% swing, regardless of direction. This time around, the options market is pricing in a slightly larger, post-earnings move of 11.4%.

Micron options traders are all in on calls, and have been for some time. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), MU has a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.66. This ratio ranks in the 94th percentile of its annual range, indicating this rate of call buying relative to put buying is unusual.

The good news for options traders is that Micron stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) comes in at 76 out of 100. In other words, the security has consistently made bigger moves on the charts than its options premiums have priced in over the past year.


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