Call Traders Eye More Upside for Spice Stock After Earnings

MKC's typically-quiet options pits have come to life today

Digital Content Manager
Jul 1, 2021 at 10:25 AM
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Spice giant McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) is in focus this morning, after the company reported second-quarter earnings of 69 cents per share -- higher than analysts' anticipated 62 cents per share -- as well as better-than-expected sales growth and revenue. In turn, the food concern raised its 2021 outlook, noting that it expects sustained demand above pre-pandemic level thanks to the shift to at-home cooking, as well as a gradual recovery in demand from restaurants. At last check, however, MKC is down 1% to trade at $87.46.

The security has experienced its fair share of volatility over the past 12 months, and is now trading 2.3% below its year-over-year breakeven. Plus, shares have been unable to rebound back to their Sept. 3, record high of $105.53, despite rallies in October, January and March. And while the $86 mark seems to have stepped in as a floor recently, overhead pressure remains at the $89 level. 

The brokerage bunch has been bearish towards McCormick & Company stock. Of the six in coverage, four call it a tepid "hold," while the remaining two say "sell" and "strong sell." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $92.94 is a 6% premium to its current perch.

The equity's usually quiet options pits are brimming with activity today. So far, 707 calls and 520 puts have already crossed the tape, which is eight times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the July 90 call, followed by the 85 put in the same series.

Finally, MKC options are extremely affordable at the moment. The security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 26% stands in the extremely low 1st percentile of readings in its annual range, indicating options players are pricing in low volatility expectations right now.

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