Big Lots Stock Boosted on Positive Outlook

Puts have been more popular than usual in the options pits

Assistant Editor
Sep 29, 2020 at 10:17 AM
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The shares of Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) are up 7.5% at $51.36 at last check, after the retailer raised its third-quarter outlook. The company's estimates of 50 to 70 cents per share, which includes share repurchase activity, surpass analysts' anticipated 21 cents per share, and Big Lots expects same-store sales to increase in the mid-teens.

Today's pop has BIG breaking out above the $50 region as well as the 30-day moving average, both trendlines of pressure in the past few weeks. On track for its fourth-straight daily win, the equity is up 77.5% year-to-date. 

Analysts are split on BIG, with four of the eight in coverage sporting a "strong buy" and the remaining four a "hold" or worse. Meanwhile the 12-month consensus price target of $53.13 is a 6.1% premium to current levels. 

The options pits have been looking more bearish than usual in the past two weeks, as 1.07 puts have been bought for every call at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than 89% of readings from the past year, meaning puts are being bought at a faster-than-usual rate. 

Options look like a good way to go when weighing on on Big Lots stock. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 64% sits in the 16th percentile of its annual range. In other words, option traders are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. What's more, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is ranked at the highest possible annual reading, implying that BIG has tended to exceed volatility expectations in the past year, a good thing for options buyers.  

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