BBBY Plummets Following Store Closures, Q1 Miss

Analysts sentiment following the news is mixed

Assistant Editor
Jul 9, 2020 at 10:13 AM
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The shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) are down 19.8% to trade at $8.34, after the retailer posted disappointing fiscal first-quarter losses and announced the closure of 200 stores within the next two years as part of a restructuring plan that will deliver substantial annualized savings. As a result, Jefferies and Wedbush hit BBBY with price-target hikes to $9 and $14, respectively. Conversely, Raymond James trimmed its price estimate to $12 to $13.

The majority of analysts, however, aren't sold on BBBY. Coming into today, nine brokerages called it a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, three rated the equity a "strong buy," while the remaining two recommended a "strong sell." This put the consensus 12-month target price at $10 -- a roughly 20% discount to current levels.

BBBY is up 141% from its April 3, all-time low of $3.43, and has managed to tack on 49% over the last three months. Still, year-to-date, the equity is in a 52% deficit. Additionally, the stock is now under the thumb of the 30-day moving average, which has served as a floor on the charts for several months. 

The options pits are favoring calls at the moment. BBBY sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.95, which ranks in the 78th percentile of readings from the past 12 months. Furthermore, Bed Bath & Beyond stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62 sits in the lowest percentile of its annual range, suggesting short-term option players have rarely been more call-biased during the past 12 months.

Lastly, short sellers look like they're taking a breather for now. Short interest has dipped 8.8% in the last reporting two periods, and the 69.91 million shares sold short represent a hefty 58.8% of the stock's available float. At BBBY's average pace of trading, it would take just over five days to cover these bullish bets. 

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