'Pandemic Outperformer' HBI Gets Boost on Bull Note

An unwinding of pessimism could push the security even higher

Deputy Editor
Jul 14, 2020 at 10:20 AM
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Credit Suisse this morning upgraded underwear stock Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) to an "outperform" rating, and lifted its price target to $15 from $13. The analyst applauded the apparel name for weathering the pandemic much better than most of its sector peers, citing stable distribution and strong demand. At last check, HBI is up 6.5% at $12.20. 

Should other covering members of the brokerage bunch begin to follow Credit Suisse's lead, it could put some much needed wind at the equity's back. Just two of the 10 in coverage considered HBI a "strong buy" coming into today, while six said "hold," and two said "sell" or worse. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $10.85 is a 9.5% discount to current levels. 

Though HBI is still staring down a 29% year-to-date deficit, it has managed to tack on over 25% in the last three months, with underlying support at the 40-day moving average. Now, the equity is contending with its 200-day moving average -- a long-time area of pressure the stock attempted to topple in early June. 

While short interest is beginning to unwind, down 11.6% in the last two reporting periods, there's still plenty of room for a short squeeze to propel HBI even higher. The 45.24 million shares sold short make up a whopping 13.2% of the stock's available float. Plus, it would take over a week to buy back these bearish bets at the equity's average daily pace of trading. 


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