Million-Dollar Oprah Sale Sends Discovery Stock Surging

The stock has been heavily shorted of late, however

Deputy Editor
Dec 23, 2020 at 9:51 AM
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News that Oprah Winfrey just sold most of her stake in the OWN cable channel to majority owner Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) is sending the broadcasting concern higher this morning. The sale is worth more than $36 million, and will boost the company's stake in OWN to 95%. While the deal suggests a decline in business, it may create more growth and expansion opportunities going forward. In addition, the channel's content will be part of Discovery's new streaming service -- expected to launch next month.

At last check, DISCA is up 1.8% at $27.71, cutting the recent decline from its 10-month high just below the $29 level short. In fact, the security is set to snap a four-day losing streak -- its longest since late October. Year-to-date, Discovery stock remains down 16.3%. 

This negative price action has grabbed option bears' attention. This is per the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.04 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 84% of readings from the past year. This suggests a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts of late. 

Shorts have been building their positions, too, with short interest up 2.3% in the last two reporting periods. This accounts for a heavy 29.3% of the stock's available float, or nearly two weeks of trading at DISCA's average daily pace. 

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