RAD Reeling Despite Upbeat Quarterly Report

Call volume is taking off in the options pits today

Assistant Editor
Sep 24, 2020 at 10:41 AM
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The shares of Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) are down 15.6% at $11.26 at last check, brushing off the company's second-quarter earnings and revenue beat as well as upbeat sales sentiment moving into the next quarter. The retail pharmacy noted that quarterly front-end same store sales, excluding cigarette and tobacco products, rose 6.1%. Meanwhile, Rite Aid announced that it plans to expand its COVID-19 testing, which has surpassed 300 sites. 

On the charts, RAD's recent rally was yesterday rejected by the 100-day moving average. Now gapping lower, the stock has been pushed below its 320-day moving average, which it hasn't closed beneath since mid-March. Year-to-date, the stock is down 29.1%.

The three analysts in coverage sport a tepid "hold" rating on RAD. There is plenty of room for price-target hikes as well, considering the 12-month consensus price target of $10.17 is around an 8% discount to current levels, after today's dramatic fall. 

Calls have outweighed puts in the options pits. This is per RAD's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 4.59 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than 78% of readings from the past year, meaning long calls are being picked up at a faster-than-usual rate.  

Today, call volume is surging, with 11,000 calls across the tape already -- eight times what's typically seen at this point. Most popular is the weekly 10/2 14-strike call, meaning plenty of traders are betting on more upside for RAD by the end of next week. 

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