Analyst: Kellogg's Valuation "A Bit More Compelling" Than Rival

Calls have been popular in the options pits

Laura McCandless
Aug 28, 2020 at 10:30 AM
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The shares of Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) are down 0.8% at $69.88 at last check, unable to push higher after Citigroup initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and $79 price target. The firm also began coverage on sector peer General Mills (GS) with a "neutral" rating, believing that K's valuation is a "bit more compelling" and has room to improve in the coming quarters. Also worth noting, Kellogg will pay its quarterly dividend on September 15.

Despite the breather today, K's 30-day moving average has stepped up as support. Since an eight-year bottom of $52.66, the shares have carved out a channel of higher highs culminating in a July 30 annual high of $72.88. Year-to-date though, the stock is flat, up 0.8%.

There is plenty of room for even more upgrades/price-target hikes on the analyst front, with seven out of 14 in coverage sport a "strong buy," and the remaining seven at a "hold" or worse rating coming into today. Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $71.39 is just a 2.4% premium to current levels.  

The options pits, on the other hand, have been wholeheartedly focused on calls for the past 10 weeks. K's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 11.60 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits higher than all other annual readings. This means long calls are being picked up at a faster rate than they have been in the past year. 

Lastly, now looks like a good time to pursue options, as they are relatively cheap from a volatility standpoint. Kellogg's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 21% sits higher than just 8% of readings from the past 12 months. This means options players are pricing in low volatility expectations at the moment.


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