Walgreens Stock Moves Higher Following Upbeat Q4 Report

The blue chip is down nearly 40% in 2020

Deputy Editor
Oct 15, 2020 at 10:48 AM
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The shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) are up 5.5% to trade at $37.89 this morning, after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue  that beat analysts' expectations. Additionally, the blue chip announced a 2.2% dividend increase.

The past three months have been especially brutal for the equity. In that time, it's down 11.7%, and hasn't managed a close above $37.50 since late August. To put it in perspective, the last time WBA consistently traded below that level was at the end of 2012. Additionally, the last three months have seen consistent pressure in the form of the stock's 60-day moving average. Longer term, Walgreens stock has shed 39.1% in 2020.  

Switching gears, today's options pits are seeing activity on both sides of the tape. In just the first hour of trading, over 12,000 calls and 9,123 puts have exchanged hands -- seven times the intraday average and option volume pacing in the highest percentile of its annual range. The October 38 put is the most popular, followed up by the 40-strike call from the same series. 

Additionally, short interest is up 5.4% in the past reporting period, and now accounts for roughly 20.01 million shares, or 2.2% of the stock's total available float. Options traders are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment, too, per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 44%, which sits higher than just 27% of all other annual readings.


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