LB Sees Options Surge, Bull Notes After Stellar Q3

Jefferies upgraded the stock to "hold" from "underperform"

Assistant Editor
Nov 19, 2020 at 10:18 AM
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The shares of L Brands Inc  (NYSE:LB) are soaring after the company's upbeat third-quarter report. Boosted by subsidiaries Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works' strong demand, L Brands reported earnings of $1.13 per share -- much higher than analysts' anticipated nine cents per share -- alongside better-than-expected revenue. To follow, Jefferies upgraded the stock to "hold" from "underperform," with a price-target hike to $33 from $20. No fewer than three other analysts raised their price targets as well, with Wells Fargo all the way to $60 from $45. 

Trading up 16.5% at $39.15 at last check, LB is soaring past yesterday's two-year high to its highest levels since March of 2018. Rallying on the charts since its July post-earnings bull gap, with pullbacks caught by the 40-day moving average, the stock is up 175% in the last six months. 

Today's news has options traders flying in, with 43,000 calls and 7,374 puts across the tape already -- 28 times what's typically seen at this point. The January 20, 2021 74.5-strike call is the most popular, with the November 35 call close behind as plenty of traders betting on more upside for the equity by tomorrow's expiration. 

The level of bullishness among options traders is greater than it has been in the past 10 weeks as well. Despite calls outnumbering puts on an absolute basis, the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.80 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands higher than 94% of readings in its annual range, suggesting a very healthy appetite for long puts of late.

Meanwhile, there is still plenty of room for upgrades, with eight of the 17 analysts in coverage sporting a "hold" or worse rating on the security coming into today. Meanwhile, the round of price-target hikes could continue, as last night's 12-month consensus price target of $35.38 is now a discount to current levels. 

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