Travel Stock Drops After Earnings Miss

Analysts chimed in with mixed sentiment

Deputy Editor
May 8, 2020 at 10:39 AM
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The shares of Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) are down 2.7% to trade at $1,405.41 after the company reported a lower-than-expected first-quarter profit, citing the rapid decrease in domestic travel. However, the company did announce higher-than-expected revenue. Following the report, no fewer than three price-target raises have surfaced, including one from Credit Suisse to $1,810, and no fewer than four price-target cuts, with Jefferies slashing to $1,300. 

BKNG has been struggling to bounce off its March 23 four-year low of $1,107.28, now down 30% for 2020. The equity was recently turned away by the 60-day moving average -- a trendline that has been a ceiling toward the shares since late February. 

Coming into today, 10 out of 12 analysts sport a "buy" or better, while the remaining 13 consider a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $1,661.61 is a 16% premium to last night's close. 

Short interest is on the rise, up 22.3% in the most recent reporting period. These 1.48 million shares make up 3.62% of the stock's available float, and would take a little over two days to cover at the stock's average pace of daily trading. 

Meanwhile, some of these shorts could be hedging against a possible upside risk, as 1.04 calls have been bought for every put at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) in the past 10 days. This ratio sits in the 83rd percentile of its annual range, suggesting the appetite for calls is higher than usual. 


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