Options Traders Thirsty for Starbucks Stock After Earnings Beat

The equity is down nearly 20% year-over-year, however

Digital Content Manager
Jul 29, 2020 at 10:44 AM
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The shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) are up 4.9% at $78.26 at last check, after the popular coffee chain reported fiscal third-quarter losses of $0.46 per share, considerably lower than Wall Street's estimated losses $0.59 per share. Revenue also topped analyst expectations. The company attributed the positive results to a number of stores reopening around the world. As a result, SBUX earned no less than nine price-target hikes this morning, with one of the most significant coming from Wedbush to $81 from $75.

On the charts, SBUX has been fighting to recover from its mid-March lows near the $50 level. Shares rallied to the $83 mark earlier in June, but have since cooled off and found overhead pressure at the $76 level in recent weeks. Longer term, the equity is still struggling, and sports a 18.9% deficit year-over-year.

Today's shift in sentiment should be of no surprise, as analysts were largely hesitant toward SBUX coming into today, with 13 of the 22 in coverage carrying a tepid "hold" rating. Meanwhile, the stock's 12-month consensus price target of $82.18 is a 5% premium to current levels.  

A look at Starbucks' options pits shows calls more than doubling puts, with 48,605 calls exchanged in the past 10 days as opposed to 24,118 puts. What's more, SBUX's Schaeffer's open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.27 stands higher than 78% of readings from the past year, implying short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased.

Today's options activity shows calls and puts running at a relatively equal clip. So far, 20,000 calls and 20,000 puts have crossed the tape -- total options volume that is five times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the 7/31 80-strike call, followed closely by the January 2021 145-strike call.


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