Call Traders Blast L Brands Amid Victoria's Secret Rumors

L Brands is reportedly in talks over selling its Victoria's Secret brand

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 10, 2020 at 10:15 AM

The shares of L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) are up 4.3% to trade at $24.60 this morning, after CNBC reported the retailer was in talks with private equity firm Sycamore Partners about selling its Victoria's Secret brand. Although the specifics of the deal are unclear at the moment, an announcement could come as soon as this week. 

L Brands stock gapped higher late last month after the Wall Street Journal reported CEO Leslie Wexner was exploring strategic options for the company. Last week, the shares toppled their 320-day moving average for the first time since March 2016. And while LB is up 32% in 2020, the security remains a ways off its March 28 annual high of $29.02. 

Call traders are in control of the options pits. LB sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 4.30 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ranks in the 80th percentile of its annual range, meaning calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip over the past 10 days.

Echoing this is the stock's Schaeffer's open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.45, which ranks in the 1st percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more call-heavy during the last 12 months. 

Today is more of the same. At last check, over 9,300 calls have changed hands, triple the average intraday amount and 15 times the number of puts traded. The February 25 call is leading the charge, followed by the March 30 call, where new positions are being opened at both. 

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