EA Volatile Despite Upbeat Q4 Earnings, Revenue Forecast

Year-over-year, the security remains up over 20%

Digital Content Manager
May 12, 2021 at 10:19 AM
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The shares of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) are struggling for direction this morning, last seen up 0.3% at $141.84, after the videogame concern reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.23 per share -- higher than Wall Street's estimates of $1.05 per share -- as well a revenue beat. Plus, the company posted an upbeat annual adjusted revenue forecast, on optimism that demand for titles "FIFA 21" and "Apex Legends" will stay strong, even as the economy begins to reopen.

The brokerage bunch is already chiming in on the results. Specifically, Credit Suisse cut the security's price target to $165, while Benchmark and UBS hiked to $181 and $175, respectively. This is reflective of the mixed analyst sentiment surrounding the equity, with 11 of the 21 in coverage calling EA a "buy" or better, while 10 carry a lukewarm "hold" rating. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $161.88 is a 14.5% premium to the stock's current perch.

The equity has had a volatile run on the charts over the past 12 months. Shortly after shares surged to a Jan. 25, two-year high of $150.30, they tumbled down to the $127 level. Electronic Arts stock has since been able to reacquire the support of the 40-day moving average, though, which has contained multiple of its latest pullbacks. Year-over-year, EA is up 21.5%.

The security could benefit from a shift in the options pits, which are bearish. This is per the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than all but 9% of readings from the past year. 

Echoing this, Electronic Arts stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.83 sits at the highest percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term option traders have rarely been more put-biased. 

Drilling down to today's options activity, 6,383 calls and 4,902 puts have already crossed the tape, which is 10 times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the weekly 5/14 150-strike call, followed by the June 140 put.

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