NKE Blasted with Downgrade on China Controversy

The security is still up over 47% year-over-year, though

Digital Content Manager
Apr 20, 2021 at 10:19 AM
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The shares of Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) are down 2.3% to trade at $129.49 at last check, after the athletic apparel retailer received a downgrade from Citigroup to "neutral" from "buy," as well as a price-target cut to $140 from $160. The analyst in question noted the consumer boycotts over Nike's comments regarding the sourcing of cotton in Xinjiang, which have led to a near-term drop in demand in China that could impact the brand's sales and margins. 

On the charts, Nike stock bounced off its March 25, four-month low of $125.44. However, overhead pressure at the 40-day moving average has kept a tight lid on shares, guiding the security lower after it rose to the $138 level. Year-over-year, the equity still sports a 47.1% lead.

Analysts were overwhelming optimistic towards NKE coming into today, with 19 of the 20 in coverage sporting a "buy" or better rating, while one said "hold." Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $164.62 is a 27.4% premium to the security's current perch.  

The options pits echo that optimism, with an appetite for calls. This is per Nike stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.52 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands in the 84th percentile of the past 12 months. In other words, calls are being bought over puts at a quicker-than-usual clip.

What's more, NKE options can be had for a bargain right now. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 23% stands at the extremely low 5th percentile of its annual range, indicating Nike stock sports affordably priced premiums at the moment.

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