Chegg Stock Off the Mark Despite Bull Notes, Earnings Beat

Two bull gaps have propelled CHGG to record highs in the last three months

Deputy Editor
Aug 4, 2020 at 10:49 AM
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The shares of online learning platform Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) are trading just south of yesterday's record highs, after reporting second-quarter earnings and revenue that bested Wall Street's estimates. The company also raised its full-year guidance and said that its subscriber count during the second quarter was higher than all of 2018. All of this prompted no less than six price-target hikes from analysts, the most notable of which was a $40 increase to $105 from Craig-Hallum. Despite this, the shares of CHGG are down 2% to trade at $84.19. 

Given everything else, it's no surprise that analysts are fairly optimistic on Chegg stock. Coming into today, nine of the 13 in coverage sported a "buy" or better rating, with the remaining four at a tepid hold," and no "sell" ratings in sight. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $78.58 is an 8.6% discount to current levels, which could mean some additional price-target increases in the near future. 

Yesterday's session marked the second time in three months that a bull gap on the charts pushed CHGG to a new all-time high. It last occurred on May 5 when the equity was launched to $61.33 from $43.79. Since then, Chegg stock has been steadily rising, and the security has a good chance of closing above the formerly resistant $81 level for the second straight day should this earnings-induced optimism continue. 

Today's option pits are full of bullish activity. In the first hour of trading, over 16,000 calls and 3,529 puts have crossed the tape so far -- 11 times the intraday average, with volume pacing in the highest percentile of annual readings. The most popular is the monthly August 90 call, followed by the 85 call from the same series. 

It's worth nothing that short interest is inching lower, down 12.1% in the last two reporting periods. The 13.64  million shares sold short still represent a solid 11.5% of Chegg's available float. Plus, it would take just under four days to cover all these bearish bets, which could propel the stock higher, should these pessimistic positions continue to unwind. 


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