Bears Continue to Circle Underperforming REIT

Short-term options players have been put-heavy

by Emma Duncan

Published on Feb 12, 2020 at 9:11 AM

Real estate investment trust (REIT) Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC) is down 1% in electronic trading, moving lower on the heels of a bear note out of Piper Sandler. The brokerage firm downgraded to "underweight" from "neutral," and sliced its price target to $20 from $26. This revised outlook represents a 17.5% deficit from last night's close, and runs alongside the broader analyst view sinceall 11 covering firms sport a "hold" or worse rating heading into today.

It's no secret that Macerich stock has been a long-term underperformer on the charts. In fact, overhead resistance at the descending 50-day moving average now has the shares down 44% year-over-year. What's more, the equity is just off its Jan. 31 decade low of $22.24, closing Tuesday at $24.23.

It's no surprise then that puts are preferred in the options pits. This is per MAC's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 3.23, which ranks in the 93rd percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy during the last 12 months. 

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