Earnings Miss, Weak 2022 Forecast Sends WMT Sliding

The equity just breached the 2021 year-to-date breakeven level

Deputy Editor
Feb 18, 2021 at 9:57 AM
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The shares of Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) are plummeting after the big box retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates. Walmart also released weak guidance for fiscal 2022, as it expects sales to quiet down after last year's surge in demand. At last glance, WMT is down 5.4% to trade at $147.20. 

Since hitting a record peak of $153.66 on Dec. 1 of last year, the shares have been chopping lower, slipping back below the year-to-date breakeven during this morning's session. It looks like its last few rally attempts were thwarted by the $147.50 level, though it looks like the 160-day moving average, which captured an early February pullback, could move in as potential support once again. 

Analysts haven't had much to say about WMT's turn in the earnings confessional this morning, though coming into today, the brokerage bunch was mostly optimistic. Of the 23 in coverage, 18 consider it a "buy" or better. What's more, the 12-month consensus price target of $162.75 is a 16.8% premium to last night's close. 

Option traders, meanwhile, were a bit more bearish than usual ahead of the event. While call volume still outpaced put volume, the equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio stood higher than 75% of readings from the past year. This means puts are being picked up at a quicker-than-usual clip. 

Today's trading leans bullish, though. Already, 163,000 calls and 63,000 puts have crossed the tape -- double what's typically seen at this point. The two most popular positions are the February 145 and 150 calls, which expire tomorrow. 

 

 

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